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The healing powers of art

By December 5, 2018March 12th, 2021Events
Charity art by Bernhard Cociancig

“If I were to make a hospital, I would put paintings in all the rooms … the arts have an influence on health.” — Henri Labrouste, French Architect.

The healing powers of art

A Try it ART exhibition goes hand in hand with fundraising for a local art charity. Our newest exhibition “Art Without Borders” (Dec 8-Jan 31) is no different: we are yet again raising funds.

In our search for a suitable art charity, we came across the beautiful work of Art à la Carte. Calgary-based Art à la Carte is an award-winning non-profit organization, operating within the healthcare system. Combined with the fact that Try it ART artist, Bernhard Cociancig, had donated his beautiful triptych “Waves” towards a good cause, our choice for Art à la Carte was not difficult.

Bernhard’s affiliation with art therapy

Artist Bernhard Cociancig volunteers his time and expertise towards art therapy activities at a Vienna-based geriatric institution in his home country of Austria. Recently, this volunteer work has resulted in a nice spin-0ff: an open invitation for students of the Vienna Art School. Students are enabled to do voluntary artwork with MS patients under the supervision of the responsible psychotherapists. A representative of the clinic has held an introductory presentation to the art students, making them aware of the (very different) symptoms MS can have. Cociancig: “Besides benefitting the MS patients, I think that this is a great opportunity for the students. Through the program, they can feel out whether social work as an art therapist may be something for them.”

“Waves” is his contribution towards our cause

Bernhard’s donation, “Waves”, is an artwork created during his stay at the Once Upon Water artist-in-residence program last Fall, at Artscape Gibraltar Point, on Toronto Island. A stunning triptych, “Waves” is a mixed-media (sanguine and charcoal) on canvas, exposed to the waves of Lake Ontario. Size: 90x60x1 cm. or 23.6×35.4×0.4 in. each.

Award-winning Art à la Carte

Through its programs and volunteers, Art à la Carte connects patients to a life without illness; to their passions, their memories, and most importantly to themselves. They do so by offering patients a choice of images for their walls; transforming their sterile hospital walls and bringing in the healing powers of art. Art à la Carte also provides guided art activities for patients recovering from a stroke; brain injuries; and dementia.

Founder Debbie Baylin established Art à la Carte in 1994 as a tribute to her cherished friend, Peggy Hronek. Debbie initiated the program with a selection of 75 posters, donated by museums and galleries such as The National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian Institute. Today this same collection has grown to include 450 canvas-mounted reproductions and giclées. Each selection reflects the styles and subjects most frequently requested by patients and their visitors. In teams of two, volunteers bring an assortment of wildlife, landscape, humor, pet, and fine art canvasses to patients’ rooms on a weekly basis. Patients or their visitors then make a selection.

Beautiful match

All in all, we believe we have found ourselves a beautiful match between Bernhard Cociancig’s work and Art à la Carte as the beneficiary of 100% of the proceeds of renting and/or selling “Waves”. Interested? You can contact us for an indication of the price and/or a viewing “Waves” at our gallery in Bragg Creek.

Not in the market for Bernhard’s artwork? You can still help Art à la Carte spread the healing powers of art. We invite you to visit Art à la Carte’s website as it has the option to donate right there for you. This link takes you straight to the donation page. But do take some time to explore their website. So many inspiring stories about how art has the ability to change lives. You will be glad you did!



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