The Holter Healing Arts Program is designed to reach as many people as possible by taking the healing power of art outside of the museum and directly into the patient care environment. The Holter has partnered with St. Peter’s Health to offer free art supplies and art activities to patients and their families while they are in the hospital.
The Holter Healing Arts Program started in three phases in the Cancer Treatment Center. The first phase was the Mini-Museum—a rotating collection of artwork, featuring a different local artist quarterly in the CTC waiting room and treatment rooms. The second phase was the Maker Station—a dedicated table in the CTC waiting room with art supplies and self-directed art projects so patients and their families can create while they wait. The third phase is the Holter Art Cart—introduced at beginning of August, the Art Cart is a self-contained art studio, filled with a variety of materials and individual art packs which are free for patients and their families. The supplies are always available, but employees also visit the CTC weekly and do rounds with the Art Cart to work with patients one on one or in group sessions. The Holter Healing Arts Program will be expanding to the Oncology floor and other departments in the hospital.
Creating art has countless therapeutic effects. Studies show that creating art reduces stress and anxiety and lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Research also shows that art provides a positive diversion, inspires hope, and contributes to an atmosphere of healing and restoration.
Art has the ability to help individuals transcend and even transform their sense of self in the face of disease or physical discomfort. During art making, people often shift away from the presence of illness in their lives. They can momentarily forget that they are sick or disabled and awaken to experiences other than illness. Patients observe that they can often rise above illness, overcome pain, and get past fears and anxieties.
The World Health Organization defines health as: “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing rather than merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The Holter believes that art can play an important role in helping people achieve this state of good health and wellbeing.
The Holter believes that art is very therapeutic and powerfully transformative. Partnering with St. Peters brings them one step closer to their goal of bringing the healing benefits of art to as many people as possible.