This month, Bill Lowe Gallery is focusing on the healing function of art and its effects on the human body.

In recent years there has been a surge of research in organizations dedicated to the practice of art as a way of healing. Though it may not appear to be common in medicine, it’s far more prevalent than you would think. According to “Arts in Health Care”, a 2009 state of the field report from the Arts and Health Alliance, almost half of all hospitals have already implemented art programs.

In addition to regularly prescribed means of healing, art related programs are being integrated into heath practices because of its positive effects on a patient’s mental and emotional well being. It offers a peaceful reprieve from the daily stress and anguish.

A recent case study outlined the key benefits of using art in the recovery process from post-traumatic stress disorder to autism, mental health, chronic illnesses, Alzheimer’s and dementia, neurological disorders and brain injuries, premature infants, and physical disabilities.

The case study findings concluded the following:

  • Focusing on art provides relaxation and positive distraction
  • Improves mental health and well being and will decrease mental distress
  • Helps connect with others in a supportive environment
  • Aids in self expression and self acceptance
  • It offers a sense of pride and achievement

Our most recent exhibition displays the work of sculptor Susannah Zucker.  Her work explores the effects of trauma on the human body: how we transcend, survive and thrive when it breaks us, and how we achieve meaning through this process. With this body of work, she illustrates the strength that is required from within to overcome the most intense of obstacles, as well as the extraordinary quietude and joy that is often experienced in its wake.

Her work exemplifies the notion of art as a way of not only healing the body but the spirit and soul of humanity. She masterfully offers a visual exploration of pain and resilience. Through her sculpture we see the power of art as a form of life support.

To see examples of her work, please visit Our current exhibition, Avian, will be exhibited through November 29th.

“Life Support” beguines a blog series where we look at art not just in theory but in practice, focusing on the healing effect of art.

Stay tuned next month where we explore art and its positive effects on those with Alzheimer’s.

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