Patients receiving chemotherapy at St. Luke’s Meridian Cancer Institute once looked out the daylight basement windows, their eyes met by blank gray walls. Today, the window views feature nine brightly colored, inspiring murals. The new murals were made possible through a partnership with, and the hard work of, Owyhee High School art students.
The project was born from one patient’s idea shared with St. Luke’s registered nurse Stewart McWilliams. McWilliams has cared for patients in the Meridian chemo infusion center for over a decade, where regular chats with patients are commonplace.
“There is a wall of nine windows that bring light into the Meridian Cancer Institute, and at one point I joked with some patients about how great it would be to have a huge mural on the exterior wall that faces the windows. It was another patient who offered the suggestion of hanging portable murals – one for each window to look out on,” McWilliams said.
From there, McWilliams moved into action. McWilliams’s daughter attends Owyhee High School, and soon, he was in conversation with their art director.
“These are high school students, but many of them have already had cancer affect their lives in some way – a loved one, or a person in their lives. Some of the students have captured that in the sentiment of their murals, hoping to inspire and uplift our patients who are often here for hours receiving chemotherapy infusions,” McWilliams said.
Generous financial support through a patient who was once treated at St. Luke’s Meridian Cancer Institute, along with additional support from the St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Health Foundation, covered the cost of the student’s art supplies, including the nine sheets of treated metal canvases, each spanning 5 feet by 4 feet.
Christine Myron is the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.