Carilion Clinic Patient Exhibit Reminds Us of the Power of Art

Carilion Clinic in Virginia has been hosting an annual patient centered National Arts Program exhibit and in its fourth year continues to be very well received. The shows patient participants represent multiple community hospitals across Southwest Virginia. Coordinator Katie Biddle told us that, “as participants drop off their work, they shared stories of how creating art has facilitated greater joy, fun, release and meaning in their lives. They discussed their connection to the content of the work, which often carried a deep meaning. At times they shared about the process of creating art-many tried something new or took a risk in their work this year. They spoke of the process as one of transformation, even overcoming, which often draws a parallel to the healing journey of our patients and their loved ones. We are also beginning to see entire families participate in this show, indicating further the power of the arts to connect and inspire. It’s clear that this opportunity motivates and inspires our patients to engage in artmaking, and we are incredibly grateful, as the health benefits of this activity are so profound. We’ve also heard a couple stories from those who’ve participated in multiple shows – that these opportunities have helped them redefine themselves as “artists”. Being formally recognized for their work has served as an encouragement to them to continue their work.”

Carilion Clinic’s January 14th reception was very well attended, and artists expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to exhibit and be recognized. In addition to the wonderful awards reception so many positive comments come from those passing through the exhibit location in the highly traversed area in the lobby atrium of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This exhibit featuring patient and family art doesn’t come down until March 24th and yet Katie is already diligently working on their 7th Annual Employee National Arts Program Exhibit which opens in May. What a tremendous coordinator we have in Katie Biddle!