Improving lives of patients & staff hanging provocative contemporary art (instead of the typical blendy blah corporate oatmeal abstracts and landscapes)

July 3, 2015

Excellent, quick inspirational video from Cedar-Sinai Hospital which has an art curator filling every wall with thought provoking and vibrant contemporary art.  It has been called L.A.'s greatest Art Secret.

 

Yes!  The hospitals I have been in usually have the equivalent to elevator music on their walls.  I absolutely love the holistic awareness of the use of art to benefit clients and staff.  Using the existential space and time created during a person's  "illness to healing" process can be influenced positively throughdynamic art display.  Studies show that visual art is under the broader umbrella of positive distractions, a key element of the designed environment that distracts patients from the pain, anxiety and stress they experience in a healthcare setting. Studies suggest that the perception of pain can be reduced by viewing art. (Diette, et al., 2003; Tse, et al., 2002). Studies also suggest that patients report reduced anxiety and show less anxious behavior while viewing engaging art (Coss, 1990; Heerwagen, 1990; Nanda et al., 2011; 2012; Schnieder, et al., 2003; Ulrich, 1993). Additionally, response to visual art has been linked to improved perception of quality of care (Hathorn & Nanda, 2008; Pati & Nanda, 2011; Ulrich & Gilpin, 2003).

 

 The site of a hospital is focused on in video above, which is an example of seizing a prime opportunity to present provocative and inspiring art pieces while people are in a contemplative space.  When in a place away from their normal lives and healing, one is often faced with existential questions such as their mortality and humanness in having a fallible human form.  A person is naturally open in this questioning state and providing healthy stimulation by art display promotes mindfulness and positive integration of their illness and recovery experience. 

 

Although I think all workplaces would benefit from this practice, healthcare settings such as addiction treatment facilities, elder care facilities, cancer treatmet, dialysis centers, occupational and physical therapy centers are prime.  In addition, I think anywhere people are stuck waiting would be amazing, such as in bank lines or on the side of the freeway instead of advertisements! 

 

The last idea is my pet, as I proposed to an art troupe in Fullerton I exhibited with for a short time that we band together and rent a freeway sign to display art!  It was profoundly cost restrictive, yet the idea has always been in my heart.  Perhaps this idea has sprouted somewhere in the world already, I'd love to know if you've heard of this! 

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