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Art keeps us well and aids in our recovery from illness. Come to think of it, our surroundings have an impact on the way we think and feel. Art has the magical ability to transform plain clinical environments into compassionate care spaces. There is a growing body of evidence which shows that art improves health and wellbeing. Art can help meet the ever growing challenges in health and social care around ageing, loneliness and mental health to name a few.

When considering the economy, in both challenging and healthy climates, the healthcare industry has been steady due to population growth, aging and the need to update healthcare facilities with technology. The industry has recognized the importance and the need to have aesthetically pleasing environments at all facilities. Artwork is no longer considered unimportant; it is an integral part of the design plan. Strategically placed artwork helps soothe and welcome patients, visitors and the staff working at the facility. The artwork selected is theme based, with the most common theme being nature and its beauty. From poster art to high-end sculptures, nature-themed artwork is specified and purchased in new and remodeled healthcare facilities. While neighborhood clinics and doctors' offices may require a substantial amount of artwork, hospitals require art programs much larger in scale. The trend in health care is green and sustainable design. In this era of environmental concern, it is compulsory that architects and designers adapt to integrating new systems that affect external and internal factors such as energy efficiency, water use, and indoor air quality.

From an artist's POV, the field of healthcare offers a variety of ongoing opportunities for art consultants. If you are reading this and are surprised, think again. When you read the word healthcare, it just doesn't mean a hospital, it is a bustling field and it can offer you a new outlet for sales and commissioned works of art. Art is now considered an important element in wellness. It is widely known that certain art has a healing effect on viewers; therefore, the number of health and wellness resources seeking art has been growing in numbers and are continuously adding artwork to their spaces. If your art fits the criteria they require, there are many different venues where your art will be welcome. Hospitals, senior care residences, surgery centers, rehabilitation centers are some of the location where you can display your art.

Some people may argue that art in the healthcare environment is just decoration, but decades of extensive research prove otherwise, showing that art can provide more than just "decoration" to hospitals and trusts. Studies show the following benefits;

Art eases anxiety, stress and depression for both patients and care staff.

Shortens the length of stay at the hospital or care giving entity.

Reduces the patient's need for painkilling medicine

Improves communication between patients and caregivers

Art improves the overall experience of healthcare and social care environment

The key to a successful art program in a healthcare environment is relevance. Art is subjective, but it needs to be relevant to the patients, visitors and staff. It's important that the artwork anchors the hospital in its locale, creating a connection with the community, making the patient feel more at home. For example, sourcing locally produced art, or showcasing local photography can all help to embed the hospital and bring about the documented benefits of nature focused imagery.

It's also important that the artwork fit with the area in the hospital it has been placed, the imagery and artwork requirements in a pediatric ward will be different to that of an A & amp;E department or a trauma ward, artwork should be tailored to the audience.

In conclusion, it is clear that art has a direct impact on the recovery and the general of well-being of patients, staff and visitors at hospital and all healthcare facilities. Whether you are an artist or a patient, being around art will certainly help your emotional, psychological and physical health.

Manesha Pieris (2022)