The connection between art and healing has received more attention recently thanks to media coverage of powerful programs such as Healing Ceilings based in Raleigh, NC.
The grassroots nonprofit organization strives to positively transform the experiences of adult cancer patients through appropriate, original art installed in the ceilings of adult cancer treatment centers – at no cost to the facilities. Artists who participate with the program paint and donate art on acoustical ceiling tiles. Each tile is a “prayer in paint” with specific design and spiritual intent to heal.
Evidence-based research originally launched by Dr. Robert Ulrich has proven that appropriate art has the power to positively impact patient outcomes. Amy Jo Edwards, the founder and director of Healing Ceilings, notes that bright, calming art, especially of nature scenes, can aid the healing process.
Instead of staring at blank white ceilings, the patients are exposed to colorful and healing imagery. Their mood elevates, anxiety levels drop, the need for pain medication is often reduced, and patients don’t feel alone in their battle.
Artist Sue Scoggins is part of a group of 11 artists from a variety of backgrounds who donate their painting to Healing Ceilings. The group tends to focus on paintings with a nautical theme, though the possibilities are endless as long as they are positive and cheerful.
Scoggins’ husband is battling Alzheimer’s and thus, she understands the stress of a life threatening condition. She considers her paintings to be a prayer for those who look at them and hopes her creations will bring patients a welcomed bit of happiness and joy.
Molly Layton is an art teacher at Neuse Charter school in Smithfield, NC. She has approximately 80 students who began working on tiles in November and has not seen a project where the students have been more enthusiastic.
The children enjoy participating in a project they feel is helping others, and are thus especially inspired to do their best. The work is very comforting and fulfilling for students whose relatives who have battled the disease, as it gives them something they can do to make a difference.
Edwards’ mission is to have healing ceilings in all rooms of cancer treatment centers in NC and to serve as a model for other states. To find out more, go to www.healingceilings.com or visit them on Facebook.
Are you interested in doing a project like this in our local community? Let us know in the Comment section!