UT MD Anderson Pediatric Patients Spread Early Valentine's Day Love at The Houston Zoo

MD Anderson News Release 01/26/11

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, the young artists and patients at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children's Art Project (CAP), will show their love for art and animals, sharing their special designs with some of The Houston Zoo's friendly residents.

While MD Anderson pediatric patient's artwork appears on CAP gift items, such as greeting cards and phone covers, this event provided them with a chance to use their creative skills to develop something new.  They constructed four large, heart-shaped/heart decorated piñatas, which will be filled with food and placed inside the animal exhibits as an early Valentine's Day gift.

The event takes place at zoo's African Forest, where each piñata, painted with colorful landscapes and jungle inspired artwork, will be presented to the chimpanzees and rhinos.  This experience is an opportunity for the children to find inspiration and display their work in a unique environment.

"Many of our children create designs that feature animals, so this will be especially exciting for them," said Shannan Murray, CAP's director.  "I'm sure they will walk away both artistically-inspired, and with a greater appreciation for wildlife."  

Following the piñata presentation, children will also have the opportunity to hand-feed the giraffes and learn about their environment.

CAP's mission is to support young MD Anderson cancer patients and their families through the sale of products using their artwork. Funds generated each year allow children to participate in summer camps, scholarships, an annual rehabilitative ski trip and other patient-focused programs. Since its inception in 1973, more than $27 million has been returned to continue this goal. 01/26/11