Touchable art at Duke

The Touchable Gallery Located in the Duke Eye Center, Durham, NC
NAP staff members were honored to attend the Fifth Annual National Arts Program® Exhibition at Duke Medical Center on September 5th. Though this is the fifth year that the NAP has been involved in the employee art show, the exhibition was actually started thirty five years earlier. The original arts Program Director Janice Palmer made a special appearance and addressed the crowd at the anniversary awards reception which was held outdoors in the hospital courtyard.
Over 150 entries from the employees and their family members were displayed in four different galleries including; The Arts & Health Gallery cases throughout the dining area, The Eye Center Reception Gallery, The Eye Center Touchable Art Gallery and Perkins Library. Of special note is the ‘Touchable Gallery’ located in the Duke Eye Center that houses three-dimensional works from the show. Visitors, including individuals with visual impairments, can experience and enjoy the art by handling it. This is a wonderful new element that we hope can be incorporated at National Arts Program® exhibitions in hospitals across the country.
Sharon Swanson, Program Coordinator for Arts & Health at Duke accompanied the NAP staff on a personal tour of the galleries and spoke about their successful campaign that allowed them to bring in artwork from more total departments than in any other previous show. The variety and quality of the works this year were exceptional and Arts & Health Visual Coordinator Sam Morrison expertly curated the show into seven separate displays.
Arts organizations operating within hospital settings have a positive impact on the communities that exist within their campuses. The Arts & Health at Duke staff proves that the efforts of the few can have an enormous effect on the hospital as a whole, including caregivers and patients alike. With our funding and the dedication of the staff we are sure this show will flourish for many years to come.