Approach

When patients receive a cancer diagnosis, it is devastating news for them and their families. Patients and their loved ones enter an especially vulnerable period when they undergo treatment. As that critical phase unfolds in the hospital environment, research has shown that the surroundings can have significant impact – detrimental or beneficial – on the patient experience.

Spaces that are furnished and decorated in a comfortable and soothing fashion are conducive to helping patients and families cope with the often immense pressures associated with disease treatment. ArtWorks for Cancer has studied how exposure in particular to visual arts can bolster spirits, reduce stress and calm anxieties for family members and even contribute positively to patient health outcomes. Studies attest to these positive effects, including these cited by the paintings in hospitals organization in the UK.

Odette Cancer Centre

“I can’t believe the difference it has made to the Oncology area. The artwork truly puts a brighter, happier feel than the drab cold walls. I’m sure the paintings add a much needed distraction to the patients who come to our hospital for life saving treatment.”
– Patients and families visiting hospital

Hospitals generally do not have funding to curate and decorate their treatment spaces. ArtWorks for Cancer (AWFC) was established by volunteers who care to address this strong but often underserved need.

ArtWorks for Cancer is the bridge between those who have artwork to donate, and those seeking to improve their facilities with beautiful works of art. Please go to the Artwork Donation Process page for more information on how to offer artwork to this cause.

AWFC works closely with hospitals during the selection, design and installation period to ensure mutual cooperation, which is essential to success. AWFC asks organizations to provide liaisons to work with AWFC to identify their needs and design preferences, which spaces will be curated and in what order.

In January, 2019, the AWFC team members celebrated the installation of 80 pieces of art at the Lakeridge RS McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. The feature piece is a 5’ x 18’ Philip Craig painting / triptych.