Art Heals

OCAD Art.jpg

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of a piece of art? Art in all of it’s varying forms has long been used by humans across all cultures to convey emotion, represent perceptions, cultivate self-growth, and tell stories. Art and experiencing art allow for human connection, emotional healing, and self-expression. It’s no wonder that expressive art is part of Interval House’s holistic healing approach for both women and children.

On February 11th, the pARTy Time Learning lab – an event series developed, designed and curated by Caroline Macfarlane and Morgan Mavis – threw its culminating event called “Hang in There Baby”, to benefit Interval House.  In the dead of winter, Hang in There Baby transformed the OCAD U Student Gallery into a tropical oasis to rejuvenate and inspire attendees through print, textiles, and performance. The gallery featured a greenhouse as a wellness centre, a swing installation set to the backdrop of youth videos, and a variety of art pieces such as paintings and digital prints to inspire positivity, create good energy, and uplift guests.

The initial idea of the event was sparked after Caroline spent many hours as visitor in a local hospital, and was struck at how clinical and other spaces would benefit from colour as a mood and energy enhancer. Artists were approached to create a piece with one simple instruction – create work that would bring joy to a space that would benefit from positive energy.

Post-event, the pieces were donated to Interval House to adorn the walls, and serve as a constant reminder of the beauty in happiness and positive energy, and the encouragement to push forward and thrive. The artists created a range of paintings and prints, using varying techniques and colours. Stunning and vibrant bright hues dominated many of the works of art, but there were many serene and calming colour palettes used as well.

Once the event concluded, Caroline and Morgan visited Interval House to curate the shelter and determine where the artwork would rest. Touring the shelter, they visualized where residents may need the extra reminders of joy and lightness as they continue on their journey of healing.

Thanks to the Hang in There Baby artwork, our simple staircase corridors have been reimagined into inspiring and illuminated spaces. Plain hallways have become the perfect home for kaleidoscopes and mosaics of lively colours.

Interval House graciously thanks the Hang in There Baby team and the talented artists for their contribution to the hope and peacefulness of our shelter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a work of art is priceless – as the magnitude of emotional encouragement can’t be measured.