Partnerships: Artists in the Community


Healing through Art

Participation in art, music, and movement can help reduce patient  pain and ease the anxiety of illness. The arts provide a healthy way to process healthcare environments and the stress of receiving medical treatment or long-term care. 

Hillcrest Medical Center

Art of Healing

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

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

Stress Busters at Parkside Psychiatric Hospital

Three artists – a storyteller, Improv theatre actor, and mixed media artist – visit children, adolescents, and adults receiving care at the residential facilities of Parkside Psychiatric Hospital for short, fun workshops to reduce the stress of their stay. 

From left to right: Tami Smith, Sharon Allred, Tennille Wilson, and Margee Aycock. 

Meet our 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.

Contact Us

To book programming for your healthcare facility or ask about becoming a teaching artist, please contact Aleks Kitchens: