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...The Wild Life Logo

"The Wild Life" mural was painted and installed in the surgery cooridor of Children's Hospital Los Angeles and measures 90 feet in length and 10 feet in height. The mural was painted entirely by children with special needs throughout the greater Los Angeles area and by critically ill children currently in the hospital. The mural was painted in mutilple panels on custom easels in order to accommodate the various disabilities. Regardless of whether the child is wheelchair bound or cannot stand for extended periods of time, each child was able to paint on the individual panels, with the assistance of a volunteer. Custom easels provided by Technifex, made it possible for every child to participate and contribute to the mural.

During “The Wild Life” project, “Karina the Mime” and Curious George visited with the children and volunteers and added a bit of comedy to the lives of each family. We want to extend a big thank you to all the Universal Studios Hollywood Volunteers for providing Curious George. In summary, we don’t want to just provide therapy, but an experience of relationships that will last a lifetime. It’s SCAF’s desire not only to brighten the life experience of each child with special needs , but also to enliven the different environments in which they live.

The original design for this mural was inspired by Marc Kolodziejczyk, the President and Founder of the Special Children's Art Foundation and conceptualized by artists Nicole Armitage and her father Frank Armitage. "Animals are a means for children to find friendship and love", stated Marc, "I wanted to bring warmth and a big smile to all the ill children that cross through the corridor".

Nicole Armitage attended both Art Center College of Design as well as California Institute of the Arts. She was a consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering for over 13 years. Ms. Armitage now owns her own art studio Armitage Arts, that features custom murals, faux finishes, various wall treatments, illustration and design and still freelances for WDI.

A native Australian, Frank Armitage moved to Los Angeles in 1952 to work with the Walt Disney Animation Studio on such films as Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins and the Jungle Book. In 1977 Frank moved over to join WDI where he painted murals for Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney Seas. Some of Frank's most prominent illustration work was published in Life magazine in 1971.

Once again we would like to thank all of our sponsors and volunteers that made this project a reality.

"I wanted to thank everyone involved in the mural project "The Wild Life" at Children's Hospital Los Angeles,which my daughter was able to participate in. I especially want to thank Marc and Priscila for all their hard work! My daughter, Annie, 7 1/2 years old with significant special needs, had the time of her life! She loved painting a portion of a giant jungle leaf and couldn't have done it without her amazing assistants! And who could have guessed a surprise visit from Curious George! That made MY day! Everything was so well done, from the food to the live jazz music! What a great opportunity for Annie to go out into the community and contribute to something that will be enjoyed by millions of other children. I hope the Foundation will include us in future projects. We loved it!"  -Kathryn Gebler

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TM & © 2005 Special Children's Art Foundation