Is Your Art a Good Fit for The Art in Healthcare Industry?: What We Can Learn from the Experts

“Infinite Health”, by P.C. Turczyn. Her work has been exhibited in multiple medical and healing environments as well as galleries, museums and cultural centers world-wide.

Numerous research studies conducted over decades prove that patients heal faster when exposed to positive visual imagery. Wall murals in hospitals have resulted in a significant decrease in reported pain intensity and anxiety by burn patients, cited in a report by Miller, Hickman, & Lemasters. Breast cancer patients reported reduced anxiety, fatigue, and distress during chemotherapy treatments when exposed to images of underwater scenes, reported by Schneider, Ellis, Coombs, Shonkwiler, & Folsom.

Art in healthcare is a big industry that is growing rapidly. The many venues that are integrating art into their overall design include general hospitals, senior residences, acute care hospitals, surgery centers, medical office buildings, physicians’ offices, rehabilitation centers, military hospitals, and many similar locales.

There are definite kinds of art, subject matter, colors and the like, proven to have the most positive benefits. If you are an artist who is interested in catering to this market it is important to understand the terminology and industry standards and specific criteria.

This article contains excerpts from my e-Book “Sell Your Art in The Healthcare Art Market”

Not All Types of Art Are Healing
As experts in the healthcare field know, not all art qualifies as healing art. Annette Ridenour, president of Aesthetics, Inc. (, an art consultancy firm, states, “The artwork I believe can be healing for other people reflects on the beauty and grace of nature, because nature in itself is very healing. It reflects perfect balance and harmony in many cases.” You can read an interview with Ridenour by Pamela C.Turczyn ( at

Evidence Based Design (EBD) is a field of study emphasizing credible evidence to influence design. This approach has become popular in healthcare to improve patient and staff well-being, patient healing, stress reduction and safety. According to Dr. Roger Ulrich, professor of architecture at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden, research suggests that nature art, or art with views or representations of nature, will promote restoration if, “it contains the following features: calm or slowly moving water, verdant foliage, flowers, foreground spatial openness, park-like or Savannah-like properties (scattered trees, grassy undershot), and birds or other unthreatening wildlife.”

Experts Agree With this Criteria
• Art should be obviously positive.
• Realism is generally most preferred. Impressionistic art is acceptable if one can recognize what the subjects are. Certain abstract art can also be beneficial.
• Nature scenes should be sunny with vibrant colors.
• Art with color palettes inspired by nature — soft to deeper greens, as well as beige, brown, yellow, amber, and blue – are favored.
• If people are in the scene they should be smiling or look positive.
• Landscapes with gardens and florals are the most frequent choice, especially in senior residences.
• Regions of the country have defined looks, such as tropical and beach in California and Florida versus scenes of full foliage and pastures in the Midwest.

What is also important to know is the type of artwork specified for a particular kind of facility varies depending on the population being served. For instance, while newer hospitals may use some abstract work mixed with contemporary nature motifs, senior assisted living communities tend to specify landscapes with gardens and florals.

If your art meets the right criteria, you should seriously consider selling it in this market. For further reading visit

Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists attain their fullest potential in private consultations, coaching sessions, articles and e-Books found on She is also founder/director of Manhattan Arts International and The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS. Follow her on Twitter @reneephillipsny and join her on Facebook ReneePhillipsArtCoach.