Artfully healing Austin : artist’s hospital beautification project spotlights local healing arts
MetadataShow full item record
Art has long been used as a healing method. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks designed temples to surround patients with art and nature and to promote healing and harmony. Today, a growing amount of evidence-based design research proves that hospitals need to be more mindful of the healing environment through better design and inclusion of the arts to reduce stress, lower costs and shorten hospital stays. This report follows Aaron Darling, an artist and part-time nurse based in Austin, Texas, who has seen a need for such change in local hospitals. Through expansive nature-themed wall murals, Darling hopes to improve the blank walls he has seen in hospital hallways and patient rooms and increase the presence of local art in Austin-area hospitals, starting with Seton Medical Center. His story sheds light on other local professionals using art to heal, such as art therapists, and successful healing arts programs, including Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. More than that, this report highlights the power of art itself to serve patients by improving healing spaces and acting as a positive distraction in an oftentimes scary place: the hospital.