|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR AND NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS CORPORATION PRESENT ART EXHIBITION
"CREATIVE HEALING: BEYOND WORDS" FEATURES WORKS FROM HHC FACILITIES
The Office of Mayor of the City of New York and Health and Hospitals Corp. will unveil "Creative Healing: Beyond Words," a display of artwork created by patients undergoing treatment at 20 health-care facilities in the public health system. The exhibition opens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, at Surrogate's Courthouse, 31 Chambers St., and will continue through April 26.
The artwork, the results of art therapy programs that treat the spiritual as well as the physical, express and ameliorate feelings related to impairment, hospitalization, treatment and rehabilitation. he exhibit furthers the theme of the recent Mayoral Proclamation of "2004 as the Year of the Arts in Healthcare." The exhibition will run Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Among those who will be attending Wednesday's opening are Deputy Mayor for Policy Dennis M. Walcott, Health and Hospitals Corporation President Dr. Benjamin Chu and author Faith Ringgold, best known for her painted story quilts, art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling.
"The art therapists and many dedicated clinicians affiliated with HHC are testament to the vital role creativity plays in the healing process, said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "I thank you for bringing this important issue to the forefront. It is always gratifying to unite with people and organizations that are working to provide all New Yorkers with high-quality healthcare."
"In pursuit of HHC's goal to provide safe, clean and therapeutically congenial surroundings for our patients when they come to us for care, we are well on the way to modernizing several of our facilities within the next few years," said Dr. Chu. "This significant rebuilding will enable us to provide care in contemporary facilities that in addition to providing therapeutic benefit, symbolize our profound respect for our patients. Since the healing process involves the spiritual wellbeing, we are incorporating art as an important part of this process."
Artwork created in these programs illustrate the ways that artistic processes and renderings contribute to self esteem and successful coping strategies to life challenges. These arts programs are exemplary in their belief that the arts are inherently life enhancing and healing.
"Within a health-care setting the artistic process helps patients to externalize and ameliorate emotions associated with illness, disability, treatment, hospitalization and life challenges, " said Dr. Irene David of Bellevue Hospital Center "This contributes to integration of impairment and effective coping. Engaging in art also neutralizes the clinical environment, encourages positive feelings and cultivates strengths." Dr. David is departmental director of Activity Therapy-Medicine at Bellevue, and national advocate and chair of governmental affairs for the American Art Therapy Association.
Subsequent arts events in the Mayor's 'Year of the Arts in Healthcare' are planned throughout the city highlight such partnerships in both community and educational settings.