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Heather Bugg�ee, founder of Splashes of Hope, works (Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Heather Bugg�ee, founder of Splashes of Hope, works on a painting in her organization's art studio inside Coindre Hall in Huntington. Splashes of Hope works with hospitals and institutions to promote healing through art, by decorating their bare walls with colorful painted murals. (Feb. 25, 2013)

The art of healing

Nonprofit brings artists together to liven up medical settings

Heather LaColla, an artist and volunteer with Splashes
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Heather LaColla, an artist and volunteer with Splashes of Hope, works on a painting destined for Winthrop-University Hospital, in the organization's art studios at Coindre Hall in Huntington. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Heather Bugge�e got the idea to found Splashes
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Heather Bugge�e got the idea to found Splashes of Hope after conversations with her friend Will Harvey about the drab walls found in the medical settings where he was being treated for Hodgkin's disease. Harvey died in 1989.

The play area of the United Cerebral Palsy
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The play area of the United Cerebral Palsy Children's Center in Commack is decorated with large murals representing the four seasons, painted by Splashes of Hope. (March 6, 2013)

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Heather LaColla and Diana Fogarty, both artists and
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Heather LaColla and Diana Fogarty, both artists and volunteers with Splashes of Hope, go over the design for paintings destined for Winthrop-University Hospital, in the Splashes of Hope art studios based inside Coindre Hall in Huntington. About 200 artists have painted with Splashes of Hope since its founding. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Mariann Ingria and son Jon, 5, play in
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Mariann Ingria and son Jon, 5, play in front of a mural painted by Splashes of Hope that hangs in the pediatric hematology/oncology department at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Volunteer John Romano loads a painting into the
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Volunteer John Romano loads a painting into the Splashes of Hope van outside the organization's art studio at Coindre Hall. Volunteers aren't all artists -- some help oversee the Huntington mansion in exchange for the nonprofit's use of the space. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Volunteer Sandy Romano works on a Splashes of
(Credit: Handout)

Volunteer Sandy Romano works on a Splashes of Hope mural for the United Cerebral Palsy Children's Center in Commack. (July 2011)

A butterfly is part of the large mural
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A butterfly is part of the large mural about the four seasons that was painted by Splashes of Hope in the play area of the United Cerebral Palsy Children's Center in Commack. (March 6, 2013)

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A mural painted by Splashes of Hope hangs
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

A mural painted by Splashes of Hope hangs in the pediatric hematology/oncology department at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital. Having something fun to look at "helps the kids get through procedures," says Lauren Sharaby, a certified child life specialist at the hospital.

Splashes of Hope is funded by private donations
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Splashes of Hope is funded by private donations and sponsors such as Benjamin Moore Paint, which provides supplies for free. The group also holds an annual fundraiser in April.

Diana Fogarty, an artist with Splashes of Hope,
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Diana Fogarty, an artist with Splashes of Hope, works on a painting destined for Winthrop-University Hospital in the organization's art studios at Coindre Hall in Huntington.

Heather Bugg�ee, founder of Splashes of Hope, works
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Heather Bugg�ee, founder of Splashes of Hope, works on a painting in her organization's art studio inside Coindre Hall in Huntington. Splashes of Hope works with hospitals and institutions to promote healing through art, by decorating their bare walls with colorful painted murals. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Splashes of Hope paints drab medical settings with
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Splashes of Hope paints drab medical settings with bright murals, giving patients something to look at instead of focusing on needles or other equipment. It "lowers their vital signs, keeps them calm," says Lauren Sharaby, a certified child life specialist at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital. (Feb. 25, 2013)

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Sandy Romano, an artist and volunteer with Splashes
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

Sandy Romano, an artist and volunteer with Splashes of Hope, works on a painting in the organization's art studio at Coindre Hall in Huntington. Romano taught elementary school for 34 years before discovering her love of art toward the end of that career. "I wanted to be involved with children and do some good," she said of joining the organization. (Feb. 25, 2013)

Crutches lean against a chair in front of
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Crutches lean against a chair in front of a large mural painted by Splashes of Hope at the United Cerebral Palsy Children's Center in Commack. The walls were once stark white before the art organization stepped in to brighten the play area. (March 6, 2013)

The pediatric hematology/oncology department at Stony Brook Long
(Credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara)

The pediatric hematology/oncology department at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital has been brightly painted by Splashes of Hope, an organization that works with hospitals and institutions to promote healing through art by decorating their bare walls with colorful, painted murals. (Feb. 25, 2013)

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