Arts and Healing | CommonSpirit

Art has the power to heal. Whether it be music
or movement, or visual, It allows us to communicate
things that maybe we wouldn’t
otherwise be able to communicate with
just words. “That’s perfect.” When people see something
familiar in the artwork that reminds them of home… they think to themselves, this hospital, these caregivers,
they know me they know who I am. My name is Chyela Rowe and I’m the Arts and
Healthcare Coordinator at CHI Memorial Hospital, part of CommonSpirit Health. “You want to pour in the
coconut milk? Good job, good job!” My family is a huge part of what motivates me in life. And our work is very much
tied in to our love for community, and our love for
creativity. That drives a lot of what
we do. [Chyela hammering] From a very young age
I realized that there was something
really meaningful and powerful in being able
to express through creative ways. And the impact that can
have on other people. One of our hopes for the
Arts and Healthcare program is that we’re looking at how the arts impact inside
the hospital, in this facility. But we’re also looking at
how this hospital plays a role in the larger
community. The AIM Center is an
organization that we are really proud
to partner with. They serve adults that are
living with mental illness in a way that’s really
empowering individuals to learn work skills and jump
into the community. [Crowd noise] “We were in the field, acres and acres of
sunflowers, everywhere.” “Now tell me about the
different colors that you put in there.
The blues…” By creating a permanent gallery
for this hospital, we’re able to support them and their work through
the visual arts. And our arts program is
connected to Chattanooga at large. When you’re creating artwork
from a personal place, but then have the opportunity
to put that in a public space to be on view, or maybe even
to be for sale… what they’re learning is that their impulse as an artist
is valuable, despite their mental health. When you have your work
witnessed and seen, and someone else reflects
their thoughts and their meaning onto
your work, it gives purpose. I think we need to know
that we’re connected to something bigger
than ourselves. And we do that through
creativity and through the way we
express ourselves. When we treat the
whole person, emotionally, spiritually,
physically, then we can provide the best
care for that person.

Dereck Turner

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