How Art Can Enhance Healing_Updated 10 14 14_final

“How Art Can Enhance
the Healing Process”
Mark Shaw
Director of Health Promotion
“Same on the outside,
New, with art on the inside”
Background Information
• Remodel of Hall Health Center completed in
Spring, 2011
• Idea put forth to have a coordinated effort to
decorate the newly painted walls
• Did some ‘homework,’ consulting with other
college student health centers who displayed
art in their building (especially U of MN)
Background Information
I consulted with some “pros” in the art field:
• Kris Anderson (Jacob Lawrence Gallery)
• Nancy Stoaks (Swedish Medical Center art
curator) , Karen Neuhard-Forsythe (UW
Medical Center art curator)
• Peggy Weiss (Harborview Medical Center art
Background Information
• Formed Hall Health Center Art Committee
composed of staff from HHC, UW Students,
and On-campus Professionals:
• Kris Anderson Jacob Lawrence Gallery
• Nicolette Bromberg, UW Libraries Visual
Collection, Betty Shen, Capital Projects
“Building the exhibition”
• Art Committee developed a plan to seek
submissions from UW students (via a contest,
offering 3 $100 prizes to the top rated works)
and UW staff and faculty
• 45 submissions came in from 23 students
• 19 submissions from 10 staff and faculty
“Building the exhibition”
Learned of existing art displays at Harborview
(Students in the Certificate in Photography
program) and Meany Hall (3 UW professors)
“Building the exhibition”
• Arranged for their continued display by adding
to our exhibit, and began special ‘gallery’ for
group display and themes in conference
Planning the exhibition
• Decisions made about where the art would go
in the building (led by 2 “pros” from the Art
Committee). Some thought given in some
areas of building about type of art to suit the
’Mountain Sunset’
Lab draw rooms
• “Something soothing”
Rainier ‘Cherry Blossom Vista’
Women’s Clinic
• “Something beautiful” ‘Flowers’
Lactation Station
“How appropriate…”
‘A Mother and Child in India’
Mental Health Clinic
• “Something thought provoking”
‘Moment of self-actualization’
Mental Health Clinic
• Promote discussion
‘Automatic Negative Thoughts’
Mental Health Clinic
• Helping to remove stigma…
‘Don’t Judge My Disorder’
Conference room
• “Something interesting” (in case the
meeting isn’t!)
‘Museum of Glass’
Entry way and patient waiting rooms
• Feature “Top 3” entries from students
Family Health Clinic
• “Something of interest to children”
‘Two King Penguins in a Courtship Ritual’
Unexpected Benefit of Art
• Help with way finding…”turn left at the
‘Experience Music Project’
Additional Benefit of Art
• Another place UW students and employees
can display their work
‘The Steptoe Grain Elevator’
Changes in 2nd Year
• Found 2 new groups for ‘gallery’ area…
• 1) Natural Science Illustration program
Changes in 2nd Year
• 2) UW Photographers Group (new ‘gallery’ in
ground floor hallway, near Employee Health
Clinic… ‘Girls on the Bench’
Research on Art and Healing
• Positive impact on health outcomes
• Aid in physical, mental, and spiritual recovery
• Relieving anxiety/reducing stress
• Decreasing a patient’s perception of pain
• Reference: Society for the Arts in Health Care
‘The Boat I Built’
Other benefits of art in the
student health center
• Promoting the facility with “Call for Art” and
Artwalks for the university community
• Another venue for students to display art
• Professional involvement for students on Art
Committee (Art History, Museology)
• Raise awareness about medical and mental
health issues
• Staff feel better about their facility
Other types of Art that
could be included
Spoken word (Poetry)
Live music (by students)
Theater (with health theme, student actors)
Even a ‘circus act!’
Source for these ideas: Gary Christenson,
University of Minnesota student health center
Budget for Art Project
• Began during major remodel of building
• Director held view that “art is akin to
• Allowed HHC to take a ‘deluxe’ approach as
the effort started
• Overall budget for first year: $7,000
• Details…
Art Budget Details
Offer of 3 $100 prizes for top student entries
$2,000 for professional framing of art
$1,000 for professional mounting of art
$400 for 2 “Artwalks” and 1 Artists’ reception
$800 insurance of art (through Risk
• $2,500 for purchase of selected works for
building ‘permanent collection’
More Economical Approach
• Require all art that is accepted to already be
• Use more traditional ‘hook and wire’
mounting method
• Involve ‘handy-person’ staff member or
students with mounting of art
• Seek donations instead of purchasing art (or
‘extended loan’)
Behind the scenes challenges
• Artists not pleased with where art is mounted
Behind the scenes challenges
• Submission deemed not suitable for display
“Everyone is an art critic”
• Negative reaction by patients…
More challenges
• Staff not always thrilled with what art is
placed in their area
More challenges
Changes in leadership may mean less
support for ongoing expenses
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Contact information
• Mark Shaw
• [email protected]
• (206) 616-8476

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