A few years ago, my mom was a patient at the Cleveland Clinic. I looked forward to visits with my mom, but they were also somewhat depressing because she was so sick.
But there was something that always distracted me as I made my way through the labyrinth of corridors at the clinic. Something that was the catalyst for discussions among my siblings and me -- it was the art.
According to the Cleveland Clinic's website, “Fine art is good medicine. It comforts, elevates the spirit, and affirms life and hope.” The clinic has long recognized the importance of arts in healing and has an extensive Arts & Medicine program. This program not only consists of visual art for visitors and patients, but hands-on art therapy for the patients as well. According to the clinic’s website, art therapy can help individuals with anxiety and stress.
There are resources even closer to home to help people explore the healing aspects of creativity at the. I spoke last week with Rob Bauer, the executive director of Brecksville Center for the Arts, about some of these programs.
Bauer has had firsthand experience with the healing effects that art can have. He says that the healing arts classes at the Brecksville Center for the Arts are for everyone, and he has seen people benefit from them.
“I am interested in offering classes that help increase the quality of people's lives," he said.
The Brecksville Center for the Arts currently has several classes classified as healing arts, like The Healing Power of Mandalas and A Path With Heart. Bauer is interested in expanding the healing arts offerings and is open to having more high-quality classes at the center, as well as off-site.
You don’t have to be a member of the Brecksville Center for the Arts or live in Brecksville to take classes at the center. Check their website or call for current class information.
If you just want to experience the soothing impact of viewing artwork, the Brecksville Center for the Arts has a gallery showcasing different art every month, and the Cleveland Clinic's Arts & Medicine program has a free, do-it-yourself audio tour of their art collection that is open to the public. The clinic also has other free events, including guided art tours and live music and dance performances. Check their calendar for more information.