Sissi Janku, a Sanibel artist known for her colorful tropical seascapes, teamed up with Sanibel Cares to create artwork for the new children's oncology unit at the Health Park. The theme of the paintings are a whimsical boat ride with children around Sanibel Island. After extensive research, sketches and meetings, it was decided to do seven mural-sized paintings and eight smaller paintings that have the look and shape of portholes.
"The paintings average 12 feet in length," Sissi said. "The entrance hall will make you feel as if you are cruising in the middle of a harbor. There are colorful buildings with docks, palm trees, boats, flowers, people walking on the beach, various Island themes with Sanibel landmarks, and lots of wildlife, from
alligators to eagles. The bright and sunny landscapes are an invitation to play, and bring comfort in times of great stress. Art has the extraordinary ability to enhance our lives and help us heal. It has a positive impact on the mood of patients, their families and the health professionals who care for them."
The installation of paintings has been christened "Dolly's Hope Harbor." Sissi worked closely with Daphne Lisenbie whose mother, Dolly Ireland, lost her battle with cancer three years ago. The Ireland Family decided to focus on creating a living memorial to help children with cancer and serious blood disorders. Thanks to this decision, children treated at the planned Chrissy Brown Hematology/Oncology Unit, named in memory of Steve and Lena Brown's daughter, Chrissy, will receive care in a very special place designed just for them.
"It is wonderful to work with Daphne. She has a vision and great imagination and sensitivity. Her and her family's idea of this journey to recovery for the children made this project a deep, joyful experience for me," Sissi said. "I am very honored to be chosen to do this work for the Children's Hospital and enjoyed the challenge of the large size and continuous theme."
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An interview with Sissi Janku.To read the article, click here to view the digital issue of the magazine or just click on the cover. The article begins on page 14. To read the full magazine, there is no charge, however, a registration with a valid email address is required after a few pages of reading.