Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art opens at Great Hall

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – In recent years, hospital leaders, physicians, and patients have discovered that art and music in the hospital environment can help patients deal with their illnesses more effectively and possibly return to full functioning earlier.


“Earth & Sky series, no. 23.” by Cai Xi Silver. Photo provided.

The Great Hall, in celebration of Springfield Hospital’s 105th anniversary is pleased to present, “Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art,” a group exhibition of 12 artists. Drawing on personal, in some cases tragic experiences, they have created inspirational art to share with the viewer. The exhibition will open Thursday, Sept. 27 with an artists’ reception for the public from 5:30–7 p.m. The exhibit will run until March 30, 2019 at One Hundred River Street.

“If art gets a patient out of their room or if a painting takes a person’s mind off their pain and lowers their stress levels, then the art isn’t just decorative, it part of the model of care,” says Larry Kraft, director of Development, Springfield Hospital & Medical Care Systems.

Research confirms that viewing enjoyable or stirring art creates a surge of the feel-good chemical, dopamine, a chemical related to intense positive sensations. Additional health benefits are increased relaxation, inner calm, and reduced stress.

Nina Jamison, director of Exhibitions at the Great Hall says, “In creating this show, we were seeking art that has a positive impact and helps viewers rise above challenges, offering hope and inspiration. The 12 artists in the exhibition have created inspirational art to help provide a path forward towards healing for others, for the planet and for themselves.”

“We also wanted to showcase various mediums including painting, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass, blown glass, and fiber. The healing power of art is important now more than ever in the midst of worldwide turbulence, extremism, and negativity,” adds Jamison.

Natalie Blake in front of her piece, “Elementals: Rhythms of The Earth.” Photo provided.

The exhibition features renowned New England artists including: Robert Carsten, Neomi Lauritsen, and Robert O’Brien of Springfield; Natalie Blake and Cai Xi Silver of Brattleboro; Priscilla Petraska, Chester; Robert DuGrenier, Townshend; Pat Musick, Manchester; Carolyn Enz Hack, E. Thetford; Mary Admasian, Montpelier; Karen Deets, Fair Haven; and Margaret Jacobs, Enfield, N.H.

With a soaring 25-foot ceiling and clerestory windows, the 150-foot-long by 45-foot-wide world-class public art space is unique in the region and accommodates and compliments very large artwork and sculpture. The Great Hall, located in the Springfield Medical Center can be entered from either River Street, across a pedestrian bridge, or from the Pearl Street entrance. There is plenty of parking at both entrances.

The Springfield Medical Center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the Great Hall can be viewed. There are docents on Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. They can explain the history of the building. The Great Hall will be open Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as participants in Vermont’s Statewide Open Studio weekend.

The exhibits at the Great Hall are sponsored by Springfield Regional Development Corporation. For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/GreatHallSpringfield or call 802-258-3992 or 802-885-3061.

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