Since the beginning of April, visitors, staff and volunteers passing
through the hospital’s Bryn Mawr Avenue entrance and adjacent elevator
lobby have delighted in the visual experience that greets them. The once
bare walls have been transformed into a gallery showcasing works from Art
Ability 2012, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital’s annual program celebrating
artists with disabilities. Art Ability is the country’s largest
international juried exhibition and sale of art and fine crafts created
by artists with cognitive, physical, hearing or visual impairments. All
the artists whose works are on display participate in Art Ability’s
Satellite and Corporate Art Purchase Programs.
As is true of other beautification projects at Bryn Mawr Hospital
(trimming holiday trees and wreaths for display each December, for
example), the idea of embellishing the relocated Bodine Lobby was
championed by the Women’s Board. With support from key Hospital
administrators, wall space was selected and prepared. Women’s Board
members Liz Clothier and Daphne MacMillan partnered with Susanna T.
Saunders, Ph.D, the curator of Art Ability, to select works to display
at Bryn Mawr Hospital. In addition to providing professional
guidance, Dr. Saunders designed and supervised the installation of a
custom hanging system and carefully considered multiple factors, such as
scale, genre, medium and lighting, to determine the proper placement of
each piece of artwork.
Asked to comment on her (pro bono) role curating the Art Ability
satellite exhibition at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Dr. Saunders remarked, “My
goals for this exhibition were several. First of all, I wanted it to
include a variety of media – photography, watercolor, collage, for
example – to remind viewers that art isn’t just about oil paintings and
sculpture. I also wanted to showcase both American and international
artists. Above all, Art Ability is about increasing awareness of what
disabled people can accomplish by reaching beyond their limitations to
find fulfillment through the creative process. Being recognized
for their talent, determination and ability is enormously validating for
these artists. And of course, let’s not forget the commercial benefit.
Our artists retain 80% of the sale price, a higher return than they
expect to receive in most commercial galleries.”
by Kurt Weston
Also instrumental in organizing this first-of-its-kind exhibit at Bryn
Mawr Hospital were Administrative Vice Presidents Brenda DeFeo and
Deborah Hetrick, and Executive Director of Development, Russell
Other area venues that have hosted Art Ability traveling satellite
exhibitions include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Trust,
the Philadelphia Foundation, the Delaware Art Museum, and Devon Manor.
The exhibit will be on display at Bryn Mawr Hospital through July. Each
piece is for sale, with 20% of the purchase price benefiting the
Hospital. Future art shows sponsored by the Women’s Board are in the
planning stages. Look for more details in the September 2012 edition of The
Power of Community.
The Connection between Art and Healing By Andrew Smith, Contributing Editor The sterile, institutional atmosphere known to previous
generations of hospital patients is now known to be counterproductive in
many ways. Not only do today’s healthcare consumers expect more pleasant
surroundings, there is also a growing body of research which shows that
decorating hospitals with art can have a profoundly positive effect on
the physical healing process. Read
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.