Fairfield University events will take people on a journey into art and spirituality in healthcare

Image: Lindsay FarrellArt is a vital part of many people's lives, but it is perhaps never more important than to those who are hospitalized and in need of healing.

Lindsay Farrell, Ph.D., associate professor at Australian Catholic University (ACU), will deliver two lectures at Fairfield University that will explore art in hospitals and the way people use art to make meaning in these places. Free and open to the public, the events are "Art and Spirituality in Healthcare," taking place Wednesday, February 29 at 5 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room, and "Research on Art, Spirituality and Healthcare," taking place Thursday, March 1 at 1 p.m. in the Bellarmine Museum of Art.

Dr. Farrell is involved with an interdisciplinary group from health sciences, social sciences, theology and the creative arts researching art and spirituality in health. "I lead a team of health researchers, theologians and arts researchers who are investigating the way art can effect health and social outcomes for patients and the hospital community," said Dr. Farrell. "The issue of spirituality and meaning making emerged as key concerns with many of the people we surveyed and talked with. I will be talking about a recent funded research project called ARCH, which engaged with Art Research in Catholic Hospitals, and was conducted within a number of Catholic healthcare providers and the Queensland Art Gallery."

As an artist, Dr. Farrell has become increasingly interested in seeing what art does in unexpected places. In the Fairfield lectures, he will consider two historical case studies and then three contemporary projects, and also talk about his research approach. "I want to take people on a journey into art and spirituality in healthcare and talk about some of the research our team from ACU has been involved with," said Dr. Farrell, who had an exhibit at Fairfield's Walsh Art Gallery in 2006, entitled "Australian Landscapes: Earth, Sky and Water."

Suzanne Chamlin, associate professor and director of the Studio Art Program in the College of Arts & Sciences, said Dr. Farrell will have opportunities to meet with students and faculty while on campus. Marice E. Rose, Ph.D., associate professor of Visual & Performing Arts, noted that as part of his visit, Dr. Farrell will critique paintings by Studio Art Program students enrolled in "SA 139 Watercolor" and have dinner in the Creative Life residence hall with students.

Suzanne Hetzel Campbell Ph.D., WHNP-BC, IBCLC, dean of the School of Nursing, said, "We are so excited to welcome Dr. Farrell to Fairfield to share his expertise with the university. His insight will help nursing and health professional students on campus recognize the benefits of art to patients overall well being. This builds on our university goals for the integration of core curriculum."

The lectures are sponsored by the University's Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Art History Program, the Bellarmine Museum of Art, the Studio Art Program, and the School of Nursing. The events are part of the University's Arts and Minds offerings for the regional community.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 2, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 184

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