Rehabilitation medicine has always had a focus on fixing physical trauma, relearning life tasks and addressing speech and language needs. However, more rehab providers now recognize the need to address what is often called the "spiritual" side of a patient. One pathway to healing is the arts, which Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has embraced throughout its programs incorporating therapeutic recreation and integrative medicine. Triggering new methods of healing and engaging patients in different ways, caregivers have often seen patients truly thrive while learning or re-learning an artistic skill such painting or photography. The success of these treatments led to Spaulding establishing a permanent exhibit space, "The Spaulding Peace Art Gallery," a gallery for artists with disabilities.
"We are so proud to share this amazing art with our staff, patients, visitors and the community. Our patients make recoveries of all types, and I strongly believe that it's vital that they are given opportunities to be creative and productive as they often adjust to life as a person with disabilities. This gallery is designed to be an opportunity for artists with disabilities to exhibit and educate the public on what is possible," said Oz Mondejar, vice president of community relations for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Recently, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's "Peace" Art Gallery opened its second exhibit, officially entitled "I Have A Dream," featuring local artists with disabilities including two former Spaulding Network patients, Richard Mangino and Luca Ricco. Richard a double amputee and Luca recovering from a brain injury both incorporated art as part of their rehab. The pieces chosen for the exhibit reflect various points in their recoveries and each piece reveals not only their increased function but their changed view point on the world as newly disabled.
The gallery, located at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's main campus in Boston, will be open through the spring and is open to the public.