Diplomat celebrates with students who helped create mural

Phil Hagerman

Phil Hagerman

FLINT — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, the nation’s largest privately held specialty pharmacy company servicing the needs of patients and physicians nationwide, is celebrating a new collaborative art display hanging at its corporate office in Flint.

The 17 ft. x 9 ft. tiled wall mural was created by hundreds of students with special needs from the Genesee Intermediate School District. The art project, which took one year to complete, tells the story of Flint’s rich history and includes the role of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy in that depiction.

To honor the work of these creative individuals, the company invited more than 300 students who were part of the unique art project, which was coordinated by VSA (formerly known as Very Special Arts), to a special presentation and pizza party on Nov. 1-2.

According to Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy CEO Phil Hagerman, Diplomat is pleased to welcome these talented young artists to Diplomat so they can see how their hard work came together into a beautiful portrayal of the City’s history.

“While this project was a year in the making, the efforts of these students now becomes a permanent, forever piece of art for Diplomat staff and visitors,” said Hagerman. “They did an exceptional job of relaying the history of Flint in a unique and vivid way, in addition to tracing Diplomat’s roots from the original Ideal Pharmacy store to the growing specialty pharmacy that Diplomat is today.”

The project was coordinated by Randee Pieper of VSA Michigan-Genesee County. It consisted of 400 individual tiles painted by the students and was assembled like a puzzle on a large framework built by Ernie Chesser.

Dialogue between Diplomat officials and GISD Superintendent Lisa Hagel was inspired by the 2010 creation of a tile mural by VSAMI-GC artists for Bishop International Airport. That piece is mounted next to the escalator in the center of the airport.

VSA International (formerly Very Special Arts) was founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith as an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. VSA promotes arts, education, and creative expression involving children and adults with disabilities, thereby strengthening the human spirit and improving the quality of life for all. Its programs take place in more than 50 countries around the world and throughout the United States including Michigan. VSA Michigan- Genesee County (VSAMI-GC) strives to promote the creative power in persons with disabilities through the visual and performing arts.

The organization offers a variety of exciting programs in the Greater Flint area funded through donations, grants and scholarships.

Details: Visit www.vsamigenesee.org/. G.G.

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