How the Arts Can Bring Healing to Healthcare

We often think of art and science as separate or even opposites, yet there’s a growing wave of organizations, medical school programs, and people exploring the ways in which the two fields overlap.

Adobe Stock/ Michael Hare

Here are a few ways art and science are intersecting and how they can work together to inform our view of healing and health care.

Feeling Healing

Neuroscientist, mindfulness teacher, and founder of the “Science of Social Justice” framework, Dr. Sará King recently launched her third project with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, titled, “Art and Awareness as a Catalyst for Collective Healing.” This installation pairs artwork with soundscapes to explore how increased awareness of ourselves, our environment, society, and culture can help heal intergenerational trauma. “There’s something so visceral about standing in front of a gigantic painting and bearing witness to the emotions and other sensations that arise within the soma,” King says.

Paging Dr. Wonder

Art and science are both rooted in a sense of wonder and desire to understand the world—this is the foundational principle of ArtMed inSight, a consulting organization founded by artist Anne Willieme that brings the study of art to medical education. With classes and collaborations with prominent universities and hospitals in the US, ArtMed inSight aims to help medical staff and students explore self-awareness, emotional intelligence, human experience, and vulnerability by learning about and interpreting art.

Documenting Hope

At the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, an art gallery features several exhibitions each year to encourage inspiration, dialogue, and different points of view. Their exhibition “Celebrations: Selections from 100” features photos taken by documentary photographer Lynn Johnson, displaying moments of sadness, determination, hope, and healing at the hospital to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

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