Did you know that art can impact healing? The University of Vermont Medical Center does. It has worked with Burlington City Arts for years to help provide a healing environment for the community it serves.
Creating a healing environment
The first art project I had the honor of working on at the UVM Medical Center was helping procure artwork for the new Mother-Baby Unit. I was immediately impressed with the selection committee’s commitment to creating positive experiences for their patients and staff. I was further impressed at how open the committee was to diverse genres and mediums of artwork and their strong commitment to broadening the type of work in their collection. Most of the artwork purchased for the Mother-Baby Unit added new artists to their collection.
Before working on that project, I had very little knowledge of the scope of the hospital’s collection. I had always appreciated the work I passed as I walked through the hospital, but learning that their collection consists of over 500 hundred works of art primarily created by local artists took my breath away. Whether the work was collected for specific projects or through donation, the UVM Medical Center has the largest institutional collection of Vermont art. The experience of helping add to its collection with projects like the Mother-Baby Unit really made it clear how strong the hospital’s commitment is to the whole community, extending far beyond its walls into our artist studios and local economy.
Bringing the art collection to the community
It is thrilling to now take that collection from the walls and bring it to the community through the Drawing Inspiration project. Through the generosity of Laura Lipton and the spirit of her late husband, Michael Buckley, patients, staff and visitors can now view the UVM Medical Center’s art collection online, browse curated exhibitions, and consider thought-provoking questions.
What a gift! Art holds so much power, providing a conduit to our emotions and harnessing our ability to heal. My hope is that access to this collection – both online and in person – will have a meaningful impact on all who interact with it. The inspiration and creativity that can be gained will infuse not only patients, but also the doctors, researchers and students whose creative minds hold to keys to our shared wellness.
It has been an honor for Burlington City Arts to play a role in the Drawing Inspiration project, the growth of the UVM Medical Center collection, and supporting the ways art contributes to health and healing.
Kerri Macon, Director of Sales at Burlington City Arts, has been with BCA since 2010. She currently manages BCA’s broad sales program and curates the Vermont Metro Gallery. Kerri works with artists across the state to help cultivate and develop their practice and to position them in the marketplace. She also works with corporate and private clients to help build and manage their collections.