Overview & History

Art of Healing is a partnership with Hillcrest Medical Center. Four professional artists, provided by ahha, spend time each week in different wings of the hospital, guiding patients, their families, and staff through a variety of art projects.

Bringing art into a hospital setting provides comfort, creativity, fun, and a means of expression to patients in the process of healing and their families offering support. In addition to providing professional artists for Art of Healing, ahha oversees the program’s financial account, assists with fundraising efforts, and purchases supplies.

Art of Healing operates in the High Risk unit of the Women’s Health Center, Pediatrics, Medical Surgery, Kaiser Rehab, Infusion, and the Burn Unit.

MISSION STATEMENT:  Just as each patient, family member, and caregiver is inherently unique, so is the journey of healing. Through the incorporation of the creative arts, our hope is to empower and restore bodily, mental, and spiritual health. The compass, simply, is to intersect the art of medicine and the art of healing and to allow each to discover their own road.


Patients choose projects from the Art Cart that are matched to their interests and abilities. Projects include:

  • Jewelry Making
  • Beadwork – bookmarks, keychains, etc.
  • Card Making
  • Watercolors
  • Acrylic Painting
  • Painting Projects

Creativity Kits are given to bed-ridden patients who are not able to work on other projects. These bags are full of simple art-making supplies patients can use from the comfort of their bed – crayons, pencils, colored pencils, coloring sheets, a notebook, and writing and drawing prompts.

Ropes for Recovery is an opportunity for patients to braid their own rope, adding charms and other embellishments if they like. Patients use their rope to ring a bell in celebration of their final chemotherapy or other infusion treatment, a hospital tradition. 


Teaching Artists

Margaret Aycock is a professional oil painter who paints in a representational, painterly style. She has taught drawing and painting for over 30 years to adults through Zieglers, Gilcrease Museum, ahha Tulsa, and TCC and to children through Artists in the Schools and Artists in the Parks. Margaret has been an artist-in-residence at Kaiser Rehab and the High Risk Pregnancy Unit through Hillcrest Hospital’s Art of Healing Program since 2002. Margaret has had representation in galleries across the country and, presently, in Tulsa at Doran Gallery and the Artery. She keeps an online presence through her artist blog and through her ebay gallery.

Tami Smith considers herself a life-long learner.  Tami is constantly seeking out and learning new creative techniques, always jumping at the opportunity to learn from other artists. As an abstract artist, she enjoys the process of applying texture to a canvas then watching the paint find its way through the crevices and cracks. Tami’s love for learning has taken her through a 25+ year career in teaching computer classes – everything from Excel to graphic design – to teaching painting classes in her sip and paint business. Working with the Hillcrest Art of Healing program has become part of her love for sharing with others, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish who gets the most out of a session, the patient or her. Sharing a technique or skill with others is very rewarding to her, and sharing a moment that brings joy to a patient or family member is the most rewarding of all.

Sharon Allred has enjoyed creating art throughout her life, even while she pursued a career as a cardiac nurse. In 2006, Allred trained at the Creative Center in New York City where she learned methods of improving patient healing through art-making. In 2007, Sharon began working as an artist-in-residence at Oklahoma Heart Institute and Children’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic where she taught art to patients and their families. Over the past 10 years, Sharon has studied painting with several notable mixed media artists and has developed her own style that invites the viewer to look within. She also teaches mixed media workshops to small groups in her private studio.



Tennille Wilson


Learn More:

Engaging Art as Holistic Healing

Art Focus Magazine, Spring 2018

The Art of Healing

Hillcrest Medical Center Blog

Breating New Life into The Art of Healing

Hillcrest Medical Center Blog

To Donate:

Contributions to ahha Tulsa may be designated to support the Art of Healing program at Hillcrest Medical Center. Your generous support ensures this program continues.


  • Make the check out to the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa.
  • Write “Art of Healing” in the memo line.
  • Mail the check to ahha Tulsa, attn: Aleks Kitchens, 101 E. Archer St., Tulsa, OK 74103.


  • Have your credit card number, expiration date, CVV code, and billing address ready.
  • Call Aleks Kitchens, the School & Community Programs Manager, at (918) 584-3333 x224 to pay over the phone.