LAC+USC collects art to promote healing
The LAC+USC Medical Center Art Council, a nonprofit group that promotes art as a way to create a healing environment, is seeking contributions to help brighten and decorate the new Replacement Facility.
Barbara Oliver, hospital administrator of LAC+USC surgical services and chair of the Art Council, said the program’s goal is to “enhance healing through art. Because we think it really makes a difference in improving the emotions of our patients.”
And staff, she added: “They’re not sick but it helps their spirits to be lifted, to be surrounded by art and beauty.”
She said the program has already collected $25,000 worth of original artworks and cash but the group is hoping to collect much more.
Oliver said her group hopes to solicit at least $100 from each full-time faculty member working at the facility to support the program, noting, “That really isn’t that much and it would make quite an impact for physicians to be seen as leaders in the effort.”
She said that donations are tax deductible and that cash donations would be used to purchase, frame, install and maintain artworks. Donations of art�also tax deductible�are also helpful, so long as they steer clear of political or erotic themes.
“We’d like to get as much personal art as we can get�we like the personal touch,” she said. “Ultimately, we’d really like to raise the bar on what a public hospital looks like. It’s a beautiful hospital and it would be a shame not to have art filling those halls.”
Oliver emphasized that “having an art program is not about decorating space�it’s about the impact of art on the patient and the caregiver experience. The environment is a part of the patient’s experience and the hospital’s message. The health care industry has come to realize that the environment�colors, design, sound, functionality of design�plays a larger role in the patient’s experience than once thought.”
Moreover, she added, “There is a growing body of evidence supporting the role of art in healing. For example, researchers have found that patients in calming environments require less pain medication, and art, especially ceiling art, for highly stressed pre-surgical patients was correlated with lower blood pressures.
“Art calms and distracts and promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and can be therapeutic in the sense that it can give a message of hope, dignity, joy and concern. Art, in short, imparts a message that the patient’s wellbeing is the caregiver’s first concern,” Oliver said.
For information on donating, sponsorships or naming opportunities, call (323) 226-6941 or fax (323) 226-6944. Checks may be made to LAC+USC Medical Center Art Council, c/o CARES, 1200 N. State St., Room 1900, Los Angeles, 90033.