Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Art of Healing

When the plans for Eskenazi Health were taking shape, 
one of the first considerations was that art
should be an important focus, both of the building itself 
and within its walls. This has been accomplished
with great success; many artists responded to the hospital's
request for proposals and the results are hanging
from the ceilings and walls, as well as on the exterior
of the building itself. It's a beautiful place,
making the experience of healing more tolerable, 
which can all too often be difficult and tragic 
for both patient and caregiver alike.

However, the use of art to provide a pleasant and 
inspiring atmosphere for the patients is not new.
In 1914, Hoosier Group artist William Forsyth led 
a group of his contemporaries in creating murals intended
to "promote healing and wellness." When completed
in 1916, patients could view artwork by Forsyth, John
Hardrick, Otto Starke, and others. 

The most famous of these artists was, perhaps, 
T. C. Steele, whose paintings now hang in a room 
at the south end of the Eskenazi Health main lobby.
The fate of the others have not been quite so fortunate.
Their story, and of the efforts to restore them has been
detailed in an article in this week's Nuvo Weekly.
Perhaps the doctors who practice at IU Health and at
Eskenazi might get together, contribute an hour or two of
their fees to restore these paintings and to

And, when you get the opportunity, go take a look 
at Steele's paintings. Titled The Four Seasons,
Steele's landscapes drew me into their composition;
I could almost smell the grass, the trees, and hear
the sound of the water as it flowed in the creek.
And the artist used little to no black in his work,
making him a man after my heart.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Very healing and soothing. Art does that for the soul.