MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ Olivia Tang, a senior at Governor Livingston High School, has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Originally she only saw art as a hobby or something she could do for fun, but now art is a talent she pursues. Recently, Tang had the opportunity to paint multiple pictures for the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. “I decided to do this project when I was researching the benefits of art therapy in hospitals,” Tang said. She immediately took action by contacting several students in an art studio she goes to. Tang then organized for several pieces of artwork to be donated to the hospital. Tang received additional support from Lisa Moretti, a physical education instructor at GL, and one of the advisors of the Student Auxiliary Club.

The hope is that the artwork will help children and faculty at the hospital to understand that others care about them. Tang said, “I hope it brightens the time they spend there.” Tang volunteers at an annual charity show with the Sharron Art Community Club, where she is the vice president. It was being a part of this organization that sparked her interest in the topic of art therapy. “I wanted to know what other applications art can have to give back to the community,” Tang added. Satisfied with her work, Tang spoke about the project with excitement, “This project has shown me the power art and creative community has to help others. It also showed me how willing the GL staff, especially Ms. Moretti, is to help students like me.”

Thanks to Tang’s enormous success, Moretti is hoping to do similar projects in the future. Moretti said, “If someone is as talented as Olivia with her or his work, absolutely [we would do this again]. She is an amazing artist.” Tang’s art work is now on display for everyone in the hospital to see.