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Arts & Health: A Global View in Detroit Conference


"Snazzy is as Snazzy Does!"
Gwen Joy is an artist who specializes in colorful folk art paintings. 
Life experience is her subject matter which is translated in a lyrical/mythical fashion.
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        On May 2nd to May 5th The Society for Arts in Healthcare held their 23rd annual international conference Arts & Health: A Global View in Detroit at the gorgeous Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.
A Barnes and Noble book booth with a few of Richard Florida's books and other health related books, architecture, tile,  and glass artist booths, art counselors, and a booth from Drexel University which has a dance, art, and music therapy program were on the fourth floor.

        I attended on the 3rd and chose to attend five lectures. The first one was about using arts to teach empathy, ethics, and effective communication in an integrative medicine curriculum. Stephanie Draus lectured about thinking in metaphors, using films like The Elephant Man and Wit to instill empathetic thinking, having a wide range of references ranging from William Carlos Williams to Susan Sontag to a novella about a girl with a growth disorder and using personal reflection as a means to relate to patients.
Stephanie stated that a significant responsibility of the physician is to communicate effectively with their patients. Moral responsibility and a hunter and gather type of learning style aid in gaining an  empathetic nature. Ms. Draus summed it up distinctly when stating," Never criticize anyone until you have walked a mile in their moccasins."

      Other lectures covered topics like strategies for designing arts and health for collage students,  ambidextrous and foot art making, music therapy in rural locations, and a color, collage, and workshop. The ambidextrous lecture and the writing workshop encouraged a more intuitive approach to learning. The lectures brought forth many innovative and fresh ideas. I highly recommend attending this conference to anyone in a health or creative field. Pictured is an exercise from the ambidextrous workshop, a painting of downtown Northville, Michigan painted with artist/ lecturer Shaqe Kalaj's foot, a picture documenting Ms. Kalaj painting with her foot, and a tile by Motawi Tilework.