Many of us, if not most, have been to the hospital.
Whether as patient or visitor, we’ve valued the miracles of the medical arts practiced there. But any way you look at it, by the very nature of why you’re there, it’s usually a scary, worrying encounter. I personally know a couple of doctors who, after switching roles – being patients rather than practitioners – have shared with me their new perspective on the hospital experience.
One hospital has thought about transforming visits in a small but important way by combining art with the healing arts. I know about this because of a partnership between ArtsWestchester https://artswestchester.org in White Plains and the Westchester Medical Center http://www.westchestermedicalcenter.com in Valhalla, NY, and I’m very pleased to be a part of the program. Together ArtsWestchester and WMC are developing a collection of contemporary artwork by Hudson Valley regional artists for display in treatment areas throughout its Valhalla Campus, a core component of WMC’s Healing Arts Program. The vision is to employ integrative arts therapies and complementary healing practices to enhance the health and well being of patients, family members, visitors and caregivers.The idea is to soften what is often a cold and clinical atmosphere with something to disrupt worry and concern, at least for a moment. Something visual to help one stop, breathe, relax the shoulders, be diverted, catch and connect with a moment of calm.
Usually in my emails I present one of my images. But here is a picture of one of my pictures, on one of WMC’s walls. Can’t help being happy with the disruptive crosstalk between the photo’s softness and the cold, but color-coordinated medical cabinets (photo credit Kathleen Reckling).