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Kathleen McInerney: Healing Art in Local Hospitals

Hope kathleen mcinerney

Kathleen McInerney’s (BFA 1986) creative work centers on hope, healing and children — themes that have made her paintings important to hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor, especially their patients. 

Recently, Kathleen learned that Beaumont Hospital selected her to transform one of its four pediatric fluoroscopy rooms into a virtual Detroit Zoo. The Children’s Miracle Network is making the project possible. 

Kathleen will paint scenes and animals from the Zoo; then, she will work with Tectonics Industries, a Warren, MI based company, to transform her painted images into material that can cover the walls and fluoroscopy equipment. One such painting with transform an MRI machine into a zoo train. Kathleen’s paintings for Beaumont represent an expansion of the use of her work, while retaining her core message of hope and healing. 

My education at the Stamps School of Art and Design has inspired me to use my gift of art to give comfort to children at their most vulnerable moments,” said Kathleen. 

Earlier this spring, the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital added one of Kathleen’s paintings, Hope,” which was created in 2012, to its art collection. Hope” (pictured here) has a remarkable story associated with it. Kathleen’s family friend Nancy Sovran’s daughter, Hope, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in 2012. Remarkably, Hope’s youngest sibling (out of eight), seven-year-old Kathleen, was a perfect bone marrow match. Hope underwent a bone marrow transplant in February of that year. When young Kathleen found out that she was going to be Hope’s donor she told her class that she was going to be her sister’s bow and arrow” donor. 

Kathleen wanted to capture the essence of Hope and Kathleen’s journey and share it with the community and families visiting the Bone Marrow Unit at Mott. She captured the bow and arrow” story of hope in a painting that Hope and family and friends painted together on her 16th birthday party, which also served as a bone marrow drive. 

Through her work with families and local hospitals, Kathleen uses her creative work to encourage healing and foster hope.