Kaley Schwartz, a 17-year-old high school senior at New World School of the Arts, is giving many families in Miami a reason to smile.
Kaley combines her artistic talent with her service at Miami Children’s Hospital by drawing portraits of the infants receiving care. In her drawings, she captures their beauty and innocence, without the heartache of medical tubes and wires. Kaley gifts the portraits in frames, which are donated by Eric Casillas of H Frame Gallery. Needless to say, the families are touched by the heartwarming gift.
Kaley’s personal experience with her sister inspired her to give back to the hospital’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
“Our family has had a connection with Miami Children’s Hospital since our younger daughter Jordan was diagnosed with an atrial septum defect with an unroofed coronary sinus,” said Laurel Schwartz, Kaley’s mother. “Under the guidance of her cardiologist Dr. Mas and Dr. Burke and his team at Miami Children’s Hospital, Jordan underwent open heart surgery at the age of two.”
Kaley initiated her community service project in the summer of 2012. She met with members of the Foundation and Child Life Departments at Miami Children’s Hospital and presented her idea to become the first portrait artist in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. She attended the volunteer meetings and classes and has been drawing portraits since January 2013. Kaley volunteers after school on Mondays and has made and donated more than 20 portraits.
Her work at the hospital further inspired her desire to give back to the hospital’s heart program. She will be hosting an art show and sale entitled Circulatory: Where Art and Altruism Connect, on February 28, 6-9 p.m., at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery. Kaley has rallied her fellow classmates in the visual arts program at New World School of the Arts to join her in the effort and also sell their art to benefit the heart program.
Kaley has touched many families with her art and continues to bring smiles to many faces. She is impacting the lives of the families at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, her classmates, her sister and the entire community. Her love for art and her passion to give back make this young lady an admirable role model.