top of page

[IV] Why Healthcare Needs Art


By Lee

I’m Lee, whose day job is as healthcare finance banker here in New York for over twenty years, but that’s not who I AM…(That’s Life’s BIG question as advised by the Oracle of Delphi: “Know Thyself”).
I know I am NOT an art expert (i.e. whether something is “worth” $1,000 or $100 million); I just know whether I like it or not or whether it is “depraved”, yet celebrated and given high prices by the “in” crowd. However, for this Cov-19 period, I just wanted to share one connection that I see between health and the arts.

On one level, it may appear that Artists in no way can match the contributions in this crisis of the truck drivers, food and medical equipment manufacturers, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and front line health care providers. However, consider these quotes:

· “At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

· “Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the object presented to patients are an actual means of recovery.” ~ Florence Nightingale

· “Art is an effort to create, besides the real world, a more humane world.” ~ Andre Maurois, French Author

· “Art is a wound turned into light.” ~ Georges Braque

· “During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.” ~ Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts

Click the image to see the video

Claudia Hart, Dream, 2009. HD Quicktime video with sound, custom wood box, shelf, computer, speakers.

Image courtesy of the artist. Dream is a fluid environment evoking x-rays and the style of medical imaging as well as biological elements. Semi-abstract, the

animation suggests cells, blood vessels, and a range of the visceral emissions that come from bodies. Dream is also a way of

imagining a digital body, on the edge of the abstract, or the graphic, yet with the slow time and space of a painting or a dream or

For further confirmation, next check out this article, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. Here’s the introductory summary: The idea that creative expression can make a powerful contribution to the healing process has been embraced in many different cultures. Throughout recorded history, people have used pictures, stories, dances, and chants as healing rituals. There has been much philosophical and anecdotal discussion about the benefits of art and healing, but less empirical research exists in the literature. In fact, although art therapy has been used clinically for more than a century and has been recognized as a profession since 1991, much of the published work is theoretical in nature, with little discussion of specific outcomes. Only in recent years have systematic and controlled studies examined the therapeutic effects and benefits of the arts and healing. Areas of art examined in the article are Music, Visual Arts, Movement-based Creative Arts, and Expressive Writing.

That art is a catalyst for positive change in mood, healing, and health now seems more recognized. In the “old days” a hospital setting was dull, gray and ominous. Now in my day job working with hospitals and health systems, it’s easy to see the major shifts in hospital facility design and décor, which now emphasizes more open, light-filled interior space; quiet, soothing music; outdoor nature walking paths; indoor meditation rooms; far greater presence of plants and flowers; soothing or even bright color schemes; and, YES….. ART everywhere!

Here’s one example, the art of Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic's Extensive Art Collection - One of America's Finest.

Click the images to see the video

Erwin Redl (USA/AT), DIAL, 2015. Light Installation with 45 Animated Dials with 4 White and 4 Blue LED-lights Each.

56 x 12 x 1 ft (17 x 3.5 x 0.3 m).

Funded by the Ohio Percent for Art Program. Building architect: Perkins+Will. Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building, Dayton, Ohio, USA.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Perhaps the best example of the use of Art as an aid health and healing are children’s hospitals. In addition to open spaces, abundant natural sunlight, bright colors including on the floor and walls, outdoor gardens, and fountains, there are toys…. everywhere! And what are toys other than miniature works of art bringing joy, imagination, creativity, and uplifting of the spirit to the children and the child in all of us alike. As one example, here is a weblink to the art of healing art gallery of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Claudia Hart (USA), The Montefiore Playroom, 2018, 3D visualization. Image courtesy of the artist.

From The Healing App: Augmented Reality and Art for Pediatric Patients with Chronic Pain, a project between Montefiore Health System and the American artist Claudia Hart exploring the combined power of art and technology in a healthcare environment for the pain management.

Contact JY&A for further information about the artist and her projects

SO… from the REAL world of truck drivers; grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, food, and healthcare manufactures personnel; front line health care providers; and, healthcare bankers to the Artist Community: Thank You! You are ALL making an incredibly important contribution to the health, healing, and uplifting our moods and spirits and to our country! Keep it UP!..VERY much looking forward to celebrating all your art in the weeks and years ahead, especially at your downtown cool art gallery parties. BRAVO!

J. Yuan & Associates New York provides consulting services to art collectors and enthusiasts and helps them to own the art that aligns with their identity, values, and goals. Our current newsletter series encourages people in our community to remain healthy and strong and to overcome the difficult time with us together.

8 views0 comments

Bình luận

bottom of page