By Hillary Beth,8, at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia
By Jason,10, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
By Jackie,10, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

What types of arts can be employed to help heal someone emotionally, spiritually and mentally?

To answer that question one has to remember that art is creative, diverse, and comes in any form, media or color. There is no one specific art type that works best as long as that art type serves the purpose of promoting and benefiting a person's heath.

It's also important to remember that one type of art may work better than another. Criteria to consider when selecting what art works best are the following...

Here is some art put to good healing use as well as displayed in innovative ways.


One of the 1,500 tiles from Healing Wall in Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida.

Healing

Walls

A healing wall is a wall where art is displayed in a public area, such as on a hospital atrium wall, with the purpose of encouraging and lifting the spirits of patients and families.

Such a wall is located in the atrium of the University of Florida's Shands Hospital and the Cancer Center. It's 1,500 painted tiles were created by more than 500 cancer patients and families during weekly painting sessions.

The tiles reflect the various expressions of hope, life and love. It's also a permanent testament to those who have received treatment.

The process of making tiles for healing walls helps patients and families express their anxieties, fears and hopes through the drawings.


The Leichtag Garden in Children's Hospital and Health Care Center in San Diego, California.
Healing Gardens

 

When children and families need time to relax, preoccupy themselves and forget their problems, a healing garden can meet their needs.

At Children's Hospital and Health Care Center in San Diego, California, the Leichtag Family Healing Garden can nourish visitors by being a place of refuge and peace.

The Leichtag Garden's design includes representations of the sky, earth, ocean and plants, as well as all kinds of animals.

The Garden features a 20-foot tall brontosaurus that welcomes you at the entrance and a Constellation Wall that lights up at night with all 12 signs of the zodiac. Another garden design is a windmill whose colorful blades blur to a bright white when it spins. At the Garden's center is a seahorse fountain which spouts water.

If one walks through the Leichtag Garden in the late afternoon, they can enjoy the Shadow Wall. As the sun sets, images of animals on the teal, blue and green pavement are cast on the wall.

Other outdoor art areas at Children's include Carley’s Magical Gardens, the Parent Center and family lounges and courtyards.


A metal art mobile hanging in the main entrance of Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka, Kansas.

Hanging

Mobiles

This art is a mixture of architecture, creativity and physics. Mobiles are basically moving art. They are made of objects that are balanced and arranged on wire arms that are suspended and move freely.

Mobiles provide a distraction for visitors, as well as beauty to sterile environments. People are often captured by the slow movements of mobiles which helps them relax.

At the main entrance of Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka, Kansas, a trio of mobiles about 8-ft long decorate the lobby.

Each mobile, is made of colorful-shaped aluminum flags that continue spinning as air circulates through the lobby.

At Mercy Health Center in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, a hanging mobile created by local artists furthers the Center's theme of providing a holistic approach to health care.

In a press release, Mary Trimmer, president and CEO of Mercy Hospital explained how mobiles affect people as well as meet the hospital's goals.

"The Center was designed to create a warm and healing environment," said Trimmer. "This beautiful sculpture continues that theme."

The mobile, named Innerspace - Innerlight - Innerpeace, is designed in hand-dyed silk, acrylic and acrylic paint. It is positioned high above the first floor and can be seen from the second floor balcony.

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