Pediatric Art Program

One of the newest areas for support for Las Floristas is the pediatric art program. This program was initially funded by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, but that funding was scheduled to be discontinued when he left office in 2016. Las Floristas was presented with a request to continue funding for the already robust Pediatric Art Program and was happy to finance the program. To honor the legacy of the former Supervisor, the art program was officially renamed the Don Knabe Pediatric Art Program.

The Art program includes two important facets; an inpatient program and an outpatient program.

The inpatient program offers more individualized opportunities to current pediatric inpatients at Rancho Los Amigos. Art provides both an opportunity for the development and control of fine motor skills, but also provides an outlet for these young people to express themselves and the complex emotions that can accompany a life changing illness or injury. Inpatients are offered the opportunity to paint using mediums and styles appropriate for their developmental level, and often the instructors tailor the material to be characters or scenes that are favorites of that specific patient.

The outpatient program offers further development of a young artists skills through Saturday workshops, and a summer intensive session. Both of these provide longer time frames to work on specific pieces and to develop skills they began as inpatients. These sessions also include field trips to local art museums, and have also included an opportunity to paint at the beach through a partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

The Rancho Foundation provides funding for similar art projects for adult artists. This means that pediatric patients who have aged out of the program are able to take more specialized art classes taught by more advanced artists in order to improve their crafts. In previous years, this has also included sessions on how artists should price their art, and skill such as creating a website and applying for a business license in order to be able to sell their art.

In a typical year, artists are invited to showcase their work at an annual on campus art show, “The Art of Rancho.” While this program has not been able to happen in person since October 2019, we hope that it returns to an in person format soon. In the meantime, the Rancho Foundation has set up a digital art gallery.

Jasmin Amador  |  Rancho Art Resident

My name is Jasmin Amador and I am 22 years old. I have Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, but have always loved anything that has to do with art. I started taking art classes in high school. Then one summer I was invited to take an art class at Rancho with the pediatric group. That summer was a great summer, as I met incredible teachers with disabilities who taught us how to paint and how to express ourselves through paint. It was the summer that changed my life. Rancho made me one of their Resident Artists and now I get to paint and display my art work each year at the Art of Rancho Show.

My passion for art started to blossom with the help of Rancho los Amigos, as they taught me that persons with disabilities also have a chance to do anything they want. I thank God for putting Rancho and their lovely staff into my life. I’m currently at Citrus College pursuing my art degree. From there I would like to go on to an art institute.

Alexis Pule  |  Rancho Artist

Alex is a 16 year old, living in Los Angeles with his close knit family. He is the middle child of three. He has a younger sister and his older brother Angel who is his best friend. Both Alex and his older brother have a diagnosis of Collagen VI Disease.

Alex is a junior at Roosevelt High School and loves to draw, paint and play video games.  He is an active participant in the pediatric art class at Rancho Los Amigos where is talent is blossoming. His role model is his older brother Angel.  When asked if his disability limits him in any way his answer is “it stops me from walking and I can’t go upstairs but other than that I am good with it!”