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25 Years of Making A Mark

2K11-0294-PVK_4849 Laura Cowling - What a Wonderful World

Beginning in February each year, professionals and volunteers work with children in the clinic to develop artwork or creative writing pieces that can be submitted to Making A Mark, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers’ annual art exhibit presented by The Periwinkle Foundation.

The extraordinary display features the works of young artists whose lives have been touched by cancer and blood disorders and provides a unique focus on their personal issues. Making A Mark encourages all patients and their siblings to participate in sharing their feelings through applied art or creative writing. Often deep-rooted feelings and fears are given a positive outlet. Each year, the exhibit averages about 350 pieces, but the first show in 1991 had less than 100 pieces.

Over the last 25 years, this exhibit has displayed more than 5,000 pieces of art by children who have been affected by childhood cancer and blood disease. Making A Mark is open to children from all pediatric cancer treatment centers, and has attracted art and writing submissions from around the world.

With the help of The Periwinkle Foundation, we have begun displaying the art annual at Hobby Airport.  Through this partnership, we have received more than 20,000 postcards for the artists as part of our postcards from the road program. We installed a display at George Bush Intercontinental Airport consisting of 16 3x4 pieces that will be on display for at least the next 4 years. 

The children’s art collected through Making A Mark has traveled all over Texas and across the world. It has been on display at the State capital, in West Virginia and Japan. Wherever the artwork travels it is a symbol of the strength these children have and a reminder that first and foremost they are children with hopes and dreams and great creativity who happen to share in common the impact cancer and blood disorders have.

On Saturday, Sept. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of this art exhibit presented by The Periwinkle Foundation. The art will be on display through Oct. 9 on the Auxiliary Bridge between the West Tower and the Wallace Tower at Texas Children’s Hospital. After Oct. 9, the exhibit will set-off on the 2015-1016 tour.

Making A Mark is a part of the Periwinkle Arts in Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers which provides fun and educational children’s art projects free of charge to more than 500 patients and their siblings every month.

About The Periwinkle Foundation

The Periwinkle Foundation develops and provides programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life threatening illnesses and are cared for at Texas Children's Hospital. Each year more than 4,000 children are touched by Periwinkle programs Camp Periwinkle, Camp YOLO, Family Camp, Camp Periwinkle Days, Periwinkle Day Camp, the Long Term Survivor Program and the Arts & Creative Writing Program which culminates each year in a traveling exhibition of art by children touched by cancer and blood disorders. Through camping, recreational and arts programming, The Periwinkle Foundation provides opportunities for these special children and their families to heal emotionally, lead fuller lives and become stronger survivors. With the generous help of our friends and supporters in the community, The Periwinkle Foundation changes lives for life. Learn more at

Carol Herron, Arts In Medicine program coordinator