On September 14, 2012 the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery willl open with a new exhibition to launch Smith Center's new Art Advisory service. The show, PORTFOLIO, will feature works by some of its 20 newly represented artists.
For over 16 years, Smith Center for Healing and the Art has been utilizing the arts to facilitate healing for people with cancer and other illnesses through a hospital-based Artist-in-Residence program, therapeutic arts workshops, and offering opportunities for creative expression as part of an integrative health model at weeklong cancer retreats. Smith Center also runs the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, a community arts space that for the past 4 years has worked with over 400 artists, produced more than 30 exhibitions, and developed a citywide arts festival marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
With this experience and the first-hand knowledge of the power of the arts on wellness, and even the outcome of medical treatment, Smith Center launches the Art Advisory to help change the experience of healthcare and hospitals for patients. Aimed at bringing socially conscious and inspirational fine art to private collectors, corporations, and healthcare facilities alike, the Art Advisory will assist clients in transforming their live and work environments into healing spaces.
Research supports the important role of environment in patient experience and outcomes. In 1984, a landmark paper by Dr. Roger Ulrich established the field of Evidence-Based Design through a study in which he found that patients who had hospital rooms with a window required less pain medication and recovered at faster rates than patients in rooms without windows. Since that publication, the field of Evidence-Based Design has expanded and numerous studies have shown that artwork in patient rooms offer comparable benefits — promoting healing, relieving patients’ pain and stress, and increasing their overall wellbeing.
Over the past few years the medical community has made a remarkable effort to work with developers and architects to create improved spaces in response to such research — but there is still a lot of room to improve, in part because many healthcare facilities lack the expertise to make these changes on their own. Hence, after years of engaging the local community through creative programs and exhibitions that explore the innate connection between healing and creativity, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is taking steps to answer that need.
Representing 20 artists selected from a national call and working in a diversity of mediums, the new service gives clients a dynamic mix of works to choose from and to build their unique collections. Clients will be able to select work ranging from handmade paper installations to large-scale digital prints to custom, mosaic murals. Additionally, the Art Advisory offers innovative, evidence-based design solutions and customized services including curatorial art plans, installation & framing coordination, and collection inventory. By working alongside each client, the result is a specially curated art collection that tells each organization’s story of community, enhances employee morale, and creates an uplifting environment.
All profits from this initiative will go towards Smith Center’s ongoing services for people affected by cancer, including cancer patient and caregiver retreats and support programs, as well patient navigation services in underserved parts of DC.
The launch exhibition, PORTFOLIO, will be a special occasion to view works by a selection of the Advisory artists. Smith Center represents a diverse pool of artists working in all media from throughout the country: Joanna Axtmann, Cynthia Back, Carol Barsha, Joan Belmar, Natalya Borisovna-Parris, Anne Bouie, Carolyn Case, Kay Chernush, Nancy Cohen, John Cotterell, Alison Hall, Sharon Lee Hart, Shea Naer, Andrew Reach, Rachel Rotenberg, Valerie Theberge, Pamela Viola, Kazaan Viveiros, Tom Wagner and Ellyn Weiss.
Image: Ellen Weiss, Energetic Dissassembly, Encaustic & oil, 30x30