Center artist’s work used in children’s hospital research

Center artist’s work used in children’s hospital research
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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CENTER, Texas (KTRE) - If you visit the Davmar Gallery in Center, you will enter a converted bank to visit David’s World, a gallery showcasing art from David Masterson.

Hundreds of miles away, children are also able to visit David’s World as part of a study led by Dr. Judy Rollins -- a researcher at Georgetown. She’s seen how Masterson’s organic art can help hospitalized children.

“They talk about artwork in general in hospitals as a distraction,” said Rollins. “A positive distraction that will kind of get your attention and take your mind off things. In children’s hospital settings, we like to think of them as attractions, not just distractions.”

The organic art form is work that is never really finished. Masterson will constantly add elements. Rollins says the art helps keep kids engaged with their caregivers and they look forward to coming back for future treatment. Rollins takes an iPad and has methods to measure the levels of joy the art brings the children. It is a study that Masterson hopes will conclude with a positive correlation.

“In one year we hope that we will have data that will show that what we call an organic painting, a painting that is never really complete, in a very specific environment, will enable children to better communicate with the caregiver,” said Masterson.

Masterson recalls one visit to Shriners Hospital in San Antonio. A young burn victim saw him working, and Masterson took the opportunity to ask her name and add it to the piece. She came up to Masterson and leaned her head against the side of his hip. Masterson said he knew at that moment the deeper impact his work could have.

“Knowing that I was able to give her something so special,” said Masterson. “She can not only have in herself, but when another child comes in, and he or she is messed up, Josslin can in her language say ‘hey you’re not going to believe this look that is my name!’”

David Masterson shows some of his art at Davmar Gallery in Center
David Masterson shows some of his art at Davmar Gallery in Center(all use)

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