Bodies of Work
Art & Healing
January 12 - March 23, 2024
The notion that making and experiencing the arts can be healing has a long history. At the beginning of the 20th century, tuberculosis patients “taking the cure” at sanatoria often participated in structured arts and crafts programs. Wounded soldiers recuperating during World War II were taught “lap crafts,” such as beading and embroidery, as part of their medical therapy. The arts have served as powerful medicine for both mind and body for centuries.
When planning for this exhibition considering the connection between art and healing began, the Covid-19 pandemic was dominating headlines around the globe. How do the arts help us process and/or recover from medical illness? How can they help us navigate the complex experience of what it is to be a medical patient facing serious illness in the 21st century? And how can art help us heal from other kinds of social and emotional trauma?
The exhibition features artwork by several contemporary artists who have used their practices as ways of exploring and processing their own experience of medical illness and also the experiences of others. Working in a range of media and from widely varying points of view and experiences, these artists have made art as part of their own healing and in order to enable the healing of others.
Estelle L. Roberge