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When the staff at the Family Medicine Center on Manning Drive put out the call in June for a volunteer to paint a kid-friendly mural for a clinic waiting room, they didn’t know they’d get a source of entertainment for the summer as well.

But that’s what happened when clinic patients – both adults and children – engaged with the creation of the vibrant ocean-themed mural as it was painted by sophomore Gabby Seider.

“The adult patients have really enjoyed watching Gabby work on the mural,” said Susan Baize, clinic manager. “And some of the younger patients would even come up to her and ask if they could help her paint.”

With only enough money to pay for supplies, Baize contacted the University art department’s Robert Kintz to see if he could put her in touch with an art student willing to take on the pro-bono project.

Baize received several responses but said she found Seider to be the most enthusiastic and was impressed with her initial sketch. Baize invited her to the clinic, where Seider drew a sketch for the second wall and immediately began to work on the mural.

“She was here every single morning,” Baize said. “She is very detailed, thorough and dedicated, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about her.”

Seider used low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) latex wall paint for the two walls and coated it with a polyacrylic. Low-VOC paint has low odor during application and no odor once cured, so it was ideal to use around patients and staff with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

A native of Chile, Seider and her family now live in Cary. She is working toward a B.S. degree in chemistry and a B.F.A. in studio art.

When Seider finds time to volunteer, her artistic skills are in demand. She did two murals for her Cary church and another smaller one in Alabama while she was on a mission trip with her church in Chapel Hill. After Seider designed and prepped the Cary Christmas-themed murals as paint-by-numbers, she said, the high schoolers helped paint them.