Claire Drennan Announced as 29th Annual Making A Mark® Guest Artist

Artist will team up with pediatric cancer patients to create artwork and collaborative art exhibit

HOUSTON, July 15, 2019 – The Periwinkle Foundation is proud to announce artist Claire Drennan as the official guest artist for the 2019 Making A Mark® program, an exhibition of art and creative writing by children touched by cancer and blood disorders at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. Drennan, who is a fiber artist and designer, creates sustainable art using eco-friendly recycled materials in fun and vibrant colors.

Each year, as part of Making A Mark® program, Periwinkle invites a local artist to create a collaborative project with the patients during their treatment as he or she guides and curates the project to produce a final piece of art for display. The Tennessee native who relocated to Houston in 2014 joins a distinguished group of past guest artists, including Elaine Bradford, John Palmer, Kelly Gale Amen, Bert Long, Anat Ronen, Jonathan Clark and Emily Fens.

Drennan has come up with a project in which each young artist creates a handmade pom pom flower varying in size, shape and color. Collectively, each flower will contribute to a larger garden. Patients and their siblings will work directly with Drennan to create this collaborative flower garden incorporating hundreds of flowers made out of recycled clothing fabric. Drennan hopes each young artist will be inspired to find an unexpected medium once the seed of the idea of upcycling has been planted. The collaborative project will be displayed at Texas Children’s Hospital for the Grand Opening of the 29th Making A Mark® exhibit on September 7, 2019.

“I am excited to see the outcome of our Making A Mark project because its beauty will come from the hands of the children and the decisions they make,” said guest artist Claire Drennan. “Each flower will be different and unique, and together we will make a beautiful garden rooted in a shared experience.”

“We feel very privileged to have Claire on board as this year’s Making A Mark guest artist,” said Doug Suggitt, Executive Director of The Periwinkle Foundation. “We admire her enthusiasm to introduce new art techniques to each participant, and I look forward to seeing the final collaborative flower garden at the Making A Mark opening reception in a few months.”

Since 2001, The Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program at Texas Children’s has brought unique opportunities for self-expression, empowerment and development of coping skills to patients and their families while enhancing the healing environment and treatment experience in a variety of settings including outpatient and inpatient care areas. Periwinkle’s Arts and Creative Writing Program culminates each year in Making A Mark®, a travelling exhibition of more than 350 pieces of art and creative writing by children and teens touched by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Young artists will reach beyond the experience of treatment providing powerful messages through their creations which will reach thousands of people through Periwinkle’s Postcards From the Road program, which allows those who view the travelling exhibit to write postcards to the artists. Since its inception in 2001, more than 25,000 postcards have been mailed to young patients.

The Making A Mark® Opening Exhibit is held each September on the Auxiliary Bridge at Texas Children’s Hospital in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and is open to the public. All works of art submitted by artists are on display to create a moving and powerful exhibit. The Making A Mark® Traveling Exhibit is open to children from treatment centers all over the world with more than 200 entries displayed annually.