OT Students Host Third-Annual Rachel Kay Stevens Art Show and Auction

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Occupational Therapy students hold up balloon “RKS” letters at the photo booth at the Rachel Kay Stevens Art Show and Auction. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

The lobby of the Madison Plaza at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center was transformed into a circus-themed art gallery for the third-annual Rachel Kay Stevens Art Show and Auction Thursday.

The art show raises funds for the Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center, the only student run, pro bono OT clinic in the Mid-South. The clinic opened in 2016 and provides occupational therapy services at no cost to uninsured and underinsured children. OT students at UTHSC work at the clinic under the supervision of professionals, assisting with screenings, evaluations, and treatment of patients.

TJ Craig points to his robot painting, one of the pieces sold, during the RKS Art Show and Auction. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

The therapy center is named after Rachel Kay Stevens, an OT student who died shortly after beginning her OT program at UTHSC. The art show honors her memory and her passions, pediatric occupational therapy and the arts.

Several pieces at the event were created by patients of UTHSC’s OT students. One of those pieces was titled, “Rainbow Desert.”

“During my second Level II fieldwork, I was excited that I was given the opportunity to help children on my caseload contribute to the RKS annual art show,” said Katelyn Grammes, a third-year OT student. “Each of the students I worked with were all so proud of their artwork and truly enjoyed the experience. Since I have volunteered at the art show the past two years, it was so fun to be on the other side and help our artists create their own original pieces of artwork.”

Several professional artists, including Whitney Winkler and Dana Shoops, also donated pieces.

“My youngest daughter went to occupational therapy for four years,” Shoops said. “It has made a huge change, and before, I couldn’t even touch my baby. OT and tactile therapy helped so much, so it was close to my heart and I wanted to donate.”

Since opening in 2016, the RKS Therapy Center has served 331 children, trained 56 teachers, and worked with 184 parents.

Ellen Bermudez bids on a piece from the anatomical print collection donated by professional artist Whitney Winkler. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC).