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New art inspires visitors at NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic

September 15, 2021

Natalja Yatsuka recently made a generous donation of artwork to NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic

Natalja Yatsuka isn’t a clinician, but she’s helping visitors at NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. The artist and owner of NataljasArt Studio in Milwaukee recently made a generous donation that’s now displayed at the on-campus clinic.

“The biggest reason I wanted to donate (this piece of art to) NIU was to make the clinic more colorful and inspire kids on many different levels,” Yatsuka said.

Mission accomplished.

Yatsuka’s art isn’t just a bright, colorful painting, it’s a large game board attached to magnetic backing. Measuring nearly 7 feet by 7 feet, it’s mounted close to the floor so it’s easy to reach for even the youngest visitors who want to play chess or checkers. There are also hidden symbols, numbers and letters to enhance opportunities for learning.

“I hope the children and parents will play more games like chess or checkers,” Yatsuka said. ”How wonderful will it be if they get more involved with art and spend less (time) using electronic devices.”

Parents and Children enjoy the new artwork that was donated

Sherrill Morris, chair of NIU’s School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, said NIU students and their young clients have already begun using the generous donation.

“NIU students and their young clients are using the art as part of their speech-language sessions, focusing on joint attention, turn taking, requesting, and vocabulary development,” Morris said. “Natalja’s donation will have a positive impact on all who view and interact with it, and we are extremely grateful for it.”

Learn more about NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.