Shining moments: Daily art boost

One morning, at a particularly painful time when JoAnn Rowland needed something to enliven her spirit, her husband opened the curtains of a picture window in their home to unveil a large painting of a beautiful scene in nature.

"It was the neatest thing," said her husband, Rick. The hand-drawn picture worked wonders to lift her spirits.

Life has been a struggle for Sister Rowland since she was sent home several months ago following cancer treatments. The effects of the illness and treatment rendered her weak, often leaving her to rely on her husband to feed her.

Having raised four children, the couple looked forward to the next years when they could travel and explore the wonders of nature. Then Sister Rowland was sidelined with the illness.

Members of her Hurricane 7th Ward, Hurricane Utah West Stake, eager to help but not sure what to do, followed the lead of Diana Phillips, a former Relief Society president, who suggested that if Sister Rowland could not go to nature, that the wonders of nature be brought to her.

Each morning for the past several months a new picture has been taped to the window where Sister Rowland can view it throughout the day from her position on a nearby sofa.

"Her big thrill now is to get up each morning to see the new art," said Brother Rowland. "This means a lot to her."

The daily artwork boosted her spirits to the point where Sister Rowland felt she could travel to Provo, Utah, where she watched her grandson Brock Rose take first place in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in the state 5A track championships held recently.

The art work comes in all varieties. One was a line drawing of Disneyland. Others depicted scenes from Alaska, Hawaii and Yellowstone Park, Wyo., and the San Diego California Temple.

Some are drawn by families, others by individuals, while still others come from Sunday School classes.

"We suggested they stop with the paintings," said Brother Rowland. "We knew it must be difficult to maintain a new picture each morning. But the former Relief Society president said they couldn't stop because there were so many who wished to participate."

"The paintings keep coming," said Brother Rowland. "Sometimes they are from people we know — other times we don't know them.

"It's been tremendous for JoAnn's spirits," he said. — Shaun D. Stahle

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