A Labor of Love Reaches a Pinnacle, almost…


Or…playing baseball up a mountain, sort of…

 Four years ago, while working as a cardiac nurse and a botanical art teacher, I started to think about how the two fields worked together. What did they have in common and how could they benefit each other? Brainstorming with friends, co-workers and fellow artists led to some ideas. Realizing how art makes a difference in my life and hearing the same from those around me, an idea began to form. Eventually, some semblance of a plan came together.

First, the plan was thrown at the Assistant Manager, who instead of throwing it back, grabbed the ball and threw in more shape to the plan. From the Assistant Manager, the ball was thrown to the Manager, and again it was caught. The Manager wanted to take the project to a larger scale and suggested it be thrown to the Director of Nursing Research, where it hit a home run. Then, the climb began.

Over the next two years, steady climbing continued. The plan formed into a research project to determine if the work of artists, who also work in cardiac healthcare, could help cardiac patients. Many logistical issues arose. Trails were blazed. Battles were fought. Problems were solved. A team was formed to continue the climb. Some team members came and went but a few managed to stay the course from start to finish. One team member took on the role of leading the ground game. Through ups and downs, support for the project never wavered.

Eventually, we were able to measure how the staff-created art made a difference to the post-operative care of cardiac patients. It was a grand day when we were finally to the point of hanging the art. Once in place, we found the art made a difference to the staff, not just the art-makers, but to all the staff, as well as, the patients. Though a high point was reached, it was not the highest point. We still wanted to share our labor of love with others, in hopes that they, too, could do what we did. Thus began the next phase of the climb.

To share with others, the story had to be told. A new team came together from other players on the project and an account was written. Then rewritten. Then written some more. Finally, the project was thrown out into a bigger stadium. The first throw was a strike out. After a huddle produced some fresh rewriting, the project was thrown out again. This time it was caught at first base. More work got it to second base, then to third. Now it is slow walking to home plate having been accepted as a hit. The pinnacle is in sight. Publication will happen!


More on Phase Two of the Art to Heart Project can be found at: www.arttoheartproject.com

Phase One of the Art to Heart Project has been accepted and is now awaiting publication. (Yea!!) Can I breathe now?

Arts in Healthcare-An Artist’s Story


This artist created a triptych for a hospital waiting room.  She based her creation on a personal experience.  Here is her story of the inspiration and how it was completed.

Artists in Healthcare-Huntsman Cancer Institute

The artist in residence program at Huntsman is funded by the LiveStrong Foundation and the Creative Center.  Both organizations focus on funding for arts in healthcare and have funded a number of excellent programs.  Here is one artist’s story as he works with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

Arts in Healthcare–Glass Artist from the UK to UK

Glass artist, Jonathan Reyntiens, from the United Kingdom creates a glass wall for the chapel at the University of Kentucky.  The video covers how Reyntiens came up with his design for bringing nature to the patients in the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lousiville, KY.

Art in Healthcare-University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky has an active arts program in the University Hospital. This program incorporates visual, dance and musical arts.  This is one disease I hope continues to spread.

Artists in Healthcare–Yo-Yo Ma and Wounded Veterans

Yo-Yo Ma and Lance Corporal Timothy Donley perform A Wide River to Cross in this video from MusiCorps founder Arthur Bloom and the Aspen Institute.  In the second video, Lance Corporal Donley explains how music, Sing for Hope and the MusiCorps group has helped him put his life back together.  In the final video, Yo-Yo Ma and Lance Corporal Donley perform America, the Beautiful.




Arts in Healthcare–Scotland

The Arts in Healthcare Program of Scotland is bringing an art program to a senior center.  Art made a difference for this group who are all quite proud of their accomplishments.

Art in Healthcare–UB Center for the Arts

The University of Buffalo has a program taking the arts to the patients of the hospital.  Painting, dance, music are brought to the patients.  See what a difference art can make in the video.  Art truly can transform lives.  The University of Florida’s AIM group encouraged and supported UB as their program began.  Art in Healthcare keeps growing!

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