NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The Nomad Art Bus is a rolling canvas that usually has at-risk children painting all over it.
But this week, the unique nonprofit that encourages artistic expression and vehicular graffiti found a new batch of budding Picassos to beautify its sides: health care heroes.
As part of National Hospital Week, the Nomad Art Bus is visiting a handful of BayCare-affiliated hospitals across the Tampa Bay area, including Morton Plant North Bay in New Port Richey.
Staff can grab paint and brushes, and go to town on the bus, leaving messages of hope and humor, smiley faces and flowers.
"We go out into the community knowing that everybody can benefit by participating in art," says Nomad executive director Carrie Boucher. "It's therapeutic just by doing it. It makes us feel food, gives stress relief, all those benefits through creativity."
The Nomad Art Bus had basically been dormant since last March, so it felt good to start those engines once again to help the medical community cut loose and have a few laughs.
"When Baycare reached out to us and asked if we wanted to do bus painting at five of their hospitals, we jumped on it," says Boucher.
Brandon May, president of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, says his colleagues have more than earned this chance to cut loose.
"The tension and pressure on our teammates hasn't relinquished very much," says May. "We're still dealing with the same challenges. So any opportunity to relax a little is well-received and much appreciated."
For more on the Nomad Art Bus, click here.