Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art Opens September 27, 2018 at the Great Hall, Springfield, VT

Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art Opens September 27, 2018 at the Great Hall
Co-Sponsored by Springfield Hospital and Springfield Regional Development Corporation

SPRINGFIELD, VT—August 6, 2018— 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.

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, September 27 and go through March 30, 2019 with an artists’ reception for the public from 5:30–7:00 p.m. at One Hundred River Street. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

“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.

The exhibition features renowned New England artists including: Painters: Robert O’Brien, Springfield, VT; Cai Xi Silver, Brattleboro, VT; Robert Carsten, Springfield, VT; Sculpture: Pat Musick, Manchester, VT; Carolyn Enz Hack, E. Thetford, VT; Mary Admasian, Montpelier, VT, Margaret Jacobs-Enfield, NH; Tiles, Ceramic Wall Art: Natalie Blake, Brattleboro, VT; Stained Glass, Karen Deets, Fair Haven, VT; Blown Glass: Robert DuGrenier, Townshend, VT; Fiber, Priscilla Petraska, Chester, VT; Neomi Lauritsen, Springfield, VT.

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. Bob Flint, Director of SRDC and Nina Jamison, Director of Exhibitions, have developed and oversee the Great Hall. The yearly art exhibitions, bring in artists from all over the northeast and beyond. This current show is the 9th in a series of acclaimed exhibitions. The Great Hall also hosts local and statewide meetings, private social events, visiting artist lectures, history presentations, school projects, jazz concerts, plays, an on-going weekly fiber workshop, and several Gala fundraisers for local organizations.

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 9:00 to 6:00 p.m. when the Great Hall can be viewed. There are docents on Fridays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. They can explain the history of the building (a history display of the former Fellows Gear Shaper Factory is in The Great Hall).

The Great Hall will be open on Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14 from 10 to 5 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: Facebook.com/GreatHallSpringfield or 802-258-3992 or 802- 885-3061.

Quotes about the exhibition and artists quotes about their work as it relates to the healing theme:

Quotes by Nina Jamison, Director of Exhibition, Great Hall, Springfield, VT

Director of Exhibitions, Jamison says:
“Pat Musick’s strong environmental esthetic and her iron willed spirit bring a sense of harmony to the Great Hall. Musick’s extraordinary talent for transferring a quiet, harmonious peace that create a dialogue with the viewer is exemplified and celebrated in “HEALING: The Transformative Imagery of Art”

“Mary Admasian was thrilled to find an indoor home for “Weighted Tears” after its outdoor display at the Brattleboro Museum of Art. The soaring space compliments the powerful imagery in “Weighted Tears” and speaks to the theme, “HEALING: The Transformative Imagery of Art.” Weighted Tears consists of five teardrop-shaped objects. Each object is made of aluminum rods, wire, and barbed wire, and is stabilized by a spherical weight. The smallest object has a blue light that will be kept illuminated 24 hours a day as a symbol of hope during difficult times,” says Nina Jamison, Director of Exhibitions.

Margaret Jacobs “Bridging Native American culture and history with contemporary abstract art feels like a “healing,” says Nina Jamison, Director of Exhibitions at the Great Hall. The viewer is moved by the boldness and strength of Jacobs’s sculptures. Jacobs is one of the top 10 Native American artists in the country. Jacob’s powerful, contemporary sculpture is definitely not the typical beadwork and birch craft one might associate with Native American art.”

Quotes from the Artists:

Natalie Blake: “Incorporating the visual arts in the healthcare environment is a fundamental component of Evidence Based Design, with proven benefits for patients, family and staff, translating into measurable outcomes in health, well-being, and cost of care.”

Robert O’Brien: “Remember the 1960’s chant “flower power?” Turns out just looking at flowers in paintings or bouquets are really good for our health. Hospital patients whose rooms were brightened with paintings of flowers and potted plants needed less postoperative pain medication and were in a more positive state of mind. The four glorious flower portraits by Award-winning, nationally exhibited Vermont artist Robert J. O’Brien’s are filled with light and color. Viewing the paintings will assure a smile and a renewed lightness of heart.”

Pat Musick: “My art is a reflection of the tensions that exist between man and the natural environment. I search for ways to create harmony and reconciliation both in the media and the content. Stone and wood speak for the physical world while rusted steel addresses human abuse of the environment. Through my work these conditions come together in a conversation of peace and spiritual quiet. In today’s world so many of us cry out for such a healing.”

Robert DuGrenier excerpted from article about his “Out of the Ashes” series with Richard Henke, The Commons: Robert DuGrenier’s historic barn in Townsend VT burned to the ground in October 2015. He’s been using the metal and cast iron pieces from farm implements and antiques that were left behind in the debris, to create stunning sculptures. Many of the pieces in the “Out of the Ashes” series at first glance appear to be encased in ice; not until the viewer comes close is it revealed that the sculpture is made with glass. DuGrenier has said that the clear glass, a departure from his colorful art creations, can be symbolic of tears and under the right lighting conditions it resembles the fire. “The use and reference of fire in the process of glass blowing and casting and through lighting is a strong source of catharsis.”
DuGrenier was overcome with shock and grief by the tragedy. “There were tons of stuff in the barn, parts of axes, shovels, rakes, lanterns, even an old loom where only the gears remained,” DuGrenier says. “Working on these pieces became my therapy for my loss.

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