A Healing Art

Posted on 07 September 2011

Art can influence human emotion, mindset, and mood. There are times when people desperately need courage, hope, or happiness and art has the power to make a positive impact! Art can de-stress and soothe, lift moods, and give encouragement. Where is this power put to better use than in a healthcare facility, impacting patients, their families, and staff alike?

First Impressions

Let’s face it, unless you’re visiting mommy and newborn, generally…no one likes the hospital. Whether you’re there for your own health, or a friends—many feel uncomfortable in the sadness, sterile, and cold of a hospital. As new hospitals go up, and current hospitals renovate, both design and fine art are changing a hospital’s first impression. The goal is to take focus away from the reasons you’re at the hospital. An inviting and comforting design can redirect focus; reminding those who enter that this is a place to receive help and rest. This is a place to get better, see improvement, and begin feeling well again. [caption id="attachment_875" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Click photo to see more of Bonita Williams-Goldberg's artwork[/caption]  

Bring Comfort to Patients

It’s my strong opinion the patient is the most important person to influence when choosing artwork for a healthcare facility. In patient’s rooms it is crucial keep the appropriate colors and textures in mind. Colors that soothe, like blues and greens, not only help patients relax, but also brings the beauty of the outdoors inside to them.   The work of artist Karla Sheppard is perfect for the hospital atmosphere because her medium is gorgeous fabrics. Just like the security of a blanket as a child, the softness of canvas or fabric artwork creates warmth and coziness. [caption id="attachment_870" align="aligncenter" width="442"] Click photo to see more of Karla Sheppard's artwork[/caption]   The direction I am often given when working with healthcare clients is to try to create the same atmosphere you’d find at the spa. This is especially important when designing a space that patients spend hours of their time. An example would be the long and painful chemotherapy process. A spa-like atmosphere was my ultimate goal when consulting for the cancer center—to create a look that was comfortable, relaxing, and uplifting. [caption id="attachment_869" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Click photo to see more of Karla Sheppard's artwork[/caption]  

Keeping Children’s Chin Up

When consulting for Children’s hospitals I consider the mindset of a child spending so much time away from home. Kids get down and kids get homesick. By creating a space conducive to the beautiful imagination of a child, and considering children’s bedrooms look like at home—I tailor the look to their tastes. Children love bright colors and fun designs. Capturing the playfulness of youth and recreating it in the hospital atmosphere can help patients begin to feel more like themselves (their healthy selves). Plus, if the look is similar to their room at home, they are less likely to feel homesick! They say laughter is the best medicine and I believe it is crucial to bring some happiness into the rooms—and ultimately the lives—of sick kids. [caption id="attachment_874" align="aligncenter" width="492"] Click photo to see more of Suzanne Fisher's artwork[/caption]   One of the newest things that I absolutely love to use in children’s hospitals are frames that open on a hinge, like a door. These frames can be unlatched and opened so you can switch out the artwork. Showcasing the drawings created by the patients gives them a sense of pride and brings smiles to their face. It reminds them of the support of their family and the staff of the hospital—it says “we believe in you!” Small gestures like this not only influence the kids themselves, but also their parents who need just as badly—if not more—lifted spirits and hope. [caption id="attachment_868" align="aligncenter" width="365"] Get these hinge frames at ADC, Art Design Consultants, Inc.[/caption]

Hardworking Healers

It’s not just the patients that desperately need positive energy. Hardworking and stressed out hospital staff are often weighed down by the number of hours they work and the lingering thoughts of each patient’s progress. Don’t these life changing individuals deserve a little beauty as well? Bringing some color or softness to the staff’s space is great way to infuse them with some peace of mind or energy when they need it most. [caption id="attachment_873" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Click photo to see more of Tom Towhey's artwork[/caption]   There is nothing more rewarding than influencing the spirits of the people who spend time in a hospital visiting, working, or getting well. If artwork brings one staff member or parent less stress, or one patient a sense of calm—it is all worth it. Art doesn’t just have power…art has healing power!

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Meet Litsa

Litsa Spanos – loving wife and mother of three – is an established art consultant, award-winning gallery owner, custom framer and educator. In this blog, Litsa shares with you her love for beautiful things. She will give you an exclusive look into the world of fine art and the artists who create it. She will also let you in on inspirational design ideas that are sure to give your home or office energy, warmth and reflect your own personal style.

 

 

 

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