Muralcles at ASU provides a fun and artsy way for students to give back

For students who love art, kids or have an interest in the medical field, ASU’s Muralcles club creates the perfect outlet for students to volunteer and have fun at the same time.

Muralcles members visit the Maricopa Medical Center’s pediatric floor to interact with young patients and hopefully improve the patients' days.

Club president and senior chemical engineering and biochemistry major Cailen McCloskey has been a part of Muralcles since her freshman year and said it was the first club she joined at ASU.

“I thought it would be a great way to give back,” McCloskey said. “It seemed like a lot more fun than doing a food drive or other service projects. It combines service and fun.”

The club’s next session will be held on May 2 and will be the last one for this semester. For more information about Muralcles, email muralclesasu@gmail.com or vist www.facebook.com/groups/muralclesasu.

She added that “the fun depends on the kid,” meaning that based on each child’s level of energy and susceptibility to germs, the members decide which activities would be the easiest and most enjoyable for them.

McCloskey said members listen to music, play games with the children, make crafts and occasionally paint murals to brighten up the hospital, which is where Muralcles gets its name. 

The club has previously painted murals in the treatment rooms and hallways. McCloskey said the pediatric floor is now nearly covered with artwork.

“A hospital can be a scary place for a kid,” she said. “It can be a scary place for anyone.”

McCloskey added that the members carpool to the sessions and bring all of the craft supplies, from paint to paper plates. She added that many of the craft ideas come from Pinterest.

McCloskey said there was one particular girl who stood out to her. She said in most cases, by the time the group came back to the hospital, the kids had all gone home, but this patient had been there for a long time due to severe burns.

“It was sad to see, but over the course of two months she recovered,” McCloskey said. “It was just amazing to watch her whole healing process.”

Members of Muralcles do not have regular meetings outside of the hospital sessions, but they occasionally host parties like a card-making event for Valentine’s Day.

“It’s helped keep me grounded,” McCloskey said. “(Muralcles) reminds me that there’s more out there. It’s made me realize that not everyone has the time or fortune to worry about things like ‘Am I going to get an A in this class?’ It’s kept me humble.”

The group of about 15 students attends these sessions at the hospital from 10 a.m. to noon every other Saturday.

Reach the reporter at bridget.dowd@asu.edu or follow @bridgetbernice on Twitter.

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