Current Environment:

Our artists in residence provide fine and expressive art encounters at patients’ bedsides and in clinical settings. Since January 2011, Boston Children’s has employed a team who offer creative writing, video making, painting, cartooning, arts history, and visual arts activities.

Together, they provide artistic opportunities on all inpatient units, all intensive care units, dialysis, the outpatient infusion center, primary care, the ninth-floor family resource room, the inpatient psychiatry unit, at Boston Children’s at Martha Eliot, and at Boston Children’s Waltham.

Projects include creative writing and book publishing, poetry, video art, origami, digital art, cartoon art, collage and mixed media art, sculpture, and jewelry making.

Our team

Tim Estiloz, cartooning

Tim has an associate degree in Illustration and graphic design from the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh. His illustrations and cartoon work have been published in The Boston Phoenix, Nashua Telegraph, El Planeta, Bay State Banner, NOW Comics, and numerous other publications, as well as by a variety of greeting card and comic book companies. He is a published children’s book illustrator, where his skill with traditional hand-rendered art has been highlighted. Tim is also very active in the comic book art community, often exhibiting and creating his artwork at comic book conventions throughout New England for a growing following of fans of his illustrations.

Ginny Lewis, creative writing

Ginny is a writer and a local educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and romance languages from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in child development from Tufts University, and is currently completing a CPA in narrative medicine through Columbia University. In addition to her 15 years of experience as a classroom educator, Ginny is a certified child life specialist and has always integrated expressive writing opportunities into her clinical work. She previously ran the WRITERS program at Tufts Children’s Hospital; the program received an award in research-practice integration from Tufts University. Ginny is also the founder and executive director of Writers Incorporated, a nonprofit dedicated to providing hospital-based writing and book publishing opportunities to patients and families.

Laki Vazakas, video making

Laki is a filmmaker who has been instrumental in developing the digital storytelling process with patients and families at the hospital. Laki holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University and a master's degree in cinema studies from New York University. He has also created collaborative video projects with women in recovery, refugees, adults living with mental illness, and returning veterans. His videos have been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, and the Venice Biennale’s Retrospetiva.

Staff support

AIRs Ginny Lewis and Laki Vazakas offer storytelling rounds to all Boston Children’s staff. These Promoting Resilience workshops combine narrative, writing, and video art to promote inter-disciplinary dialogue and resilience. These workshops may be tailored to the needs of specific units.

AIR student program

In 2020, the AIR program welcomed our first intern, a student from UMass Amherst. Our program continues to accept applications for student internships. Interns are given the opportunity to interface with members of other disciplines (Child Life Services, Social Work, Spiritual Care), to observe AIR sessions with patients and families, and are encouraged to develop an original capstone project throughout the course of their internship.