University Relations and Communications


November 14, 2017



MSUB Art Class Donates to Billings Clinic Foundation

Donation Ceremony will be Friday, Nov. 17 at 1:00 p.m.



University Relations and Communications, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — This year, the Rays of Hope Art donation will take place at the Billings Clinic Foundation House at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.


Nearly 300 hand painted sun-shaped clay tiles will be donated to the Billings Clinic Foundation this Friday. The clay tiles are handed out to the patients and families who come through the Pediatric Oncology wing of the clinic. The purpose of the sun shape, with its emanating rays, is to provide hope and an uplifting mood for those undergoing the challenges of cancer treatment at the clinic hospital.


The Fundamentals of Art for Elementary Teachers class has been engaging the Rays of Hope Art Project for four semesters. Each term students take on the Service Learning Project to enact local compassion through art-making.


Dr. Mara Pierce created this project in spring semester of 2016, to help her students make emotional connections with art and to find a tangible purpose for art-making in the classroom (and for themselves).


Health is a common denominator that people of any age think about and cancer is one of the greatest obstacles that many communities face, shared Dr. Pierce. A poll of school-age children and their parents revealed that the children would enjoy making art that they could give another child who was sick.


“So, I designed the Rays of Hope Art Project as the work of art at that intersection,” shared Dr. Pierce.


Future elementary teachers, in turn, learn about how to use art with their own students as a method of outreach and community connection. The hope is that they will also use the project in their future classrooms, thereby continuing to teach about the feeling of empathy and the enactment of compassion, stated Dr. Pierce.


For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Art Education Mara K. Pierce, PhD at 657-2981,