ART + HEALING / by Carolyn Wright




[First published in January 2016]

Art is linked- whether it is in creating or experiencing it—with healing.  Experts tell us it’s true; perhaps you have experienced it.  I certainly have.

I’ve had the rather dubious privilege of spending time at several of the country’s leading medical establishments, caring for family members receiving treatment.  I say “dubious”, since I would rather that the family member not need the treatment; I say “privilege”, because the care they received has been excellent. 

At Duke Medical, the gentle sway of a Calder mobile reminded me that great strength can be disguised in something that appears delicate, and I found hope for the future of my dear mother-in-law.  I lost myself in landscapes while I waited for news from the operating room.  At the Mayo Clinic, my loved one and I reveled in the whimsy of gigantic Chilouly glass sculptures and Wharhol prints.  The art brought joy and respite from the grey, sterile world of testing and waiting.

Now it’s my turn to provide the art—and hopefully, some healing as well.

From now through March 4, 2016, I have eight paintings hanging in the West Alcove Gallery of the Hatfield Building at the National Institutes of Health.  

I’ll be writing more about the pieces in the future.  For now, though, I’ll close by stating my hope that these pieces will soothe and bind up wounded souls as thoroughly as the hospitals’ doctors and nurses care for physical ailments.