Healing and Art

Some people believe that healing is an art. Others insist it is a science. I prefer to think about healing as both an art and a science. Intellectually, I take for granted the science part. Yet, perceptually, I continue to be fascinated by the impact of the arts on wellness. One can look at leading hospitals such as Westchester Medical Center for confirmation that the medical profession has embraced the restorative power of the arts. They are bringing artwork into treatment centers, hiring art therapists to work with patients and turning those green hospital walls into more attractive canvases.

The merging of art and science is a familiar theme for ArtsWestchester just as the merging of mind and body is critical to healthcare. In its latest exhibition, sponsored by Westchester Medical Center, ArtsWestchester throws a surgical lens on the arts and medicine. The fall exhibition, “Remedy,” is curated by ArtsWestchester’s Gallery Director Kathleen Reckling, who reminds us that art is a remedy in and of itself – “one that can give us a voice when words have felt insufficient, or can provide communities with safe havens in times of collective suffering.” The exhibition is meant to open up a dialogue on the many ways in which the arts can promote healing in both personal and collective settings.

Much of the work is inspired by the methods, instruments and institutions that diagnose and treat our ailments.  This may sound dull, but the work is amusing as well as provocative and poignant. Imagine if you will a huge soft cuddly Prozac pill-ow in the center of the gallery, adding a sense of humor to a serious subject. No, you can’t hug the pill-ow, but have a chuckle on us.


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