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Patient Centerd Art Program Approach - Appropiate Artwork Selection

Art selection for a medical facility should be based on the viewer - Patients, Families, Visitors & Staff.  Imagery should be familiar, stress reducing and comforting as well as engaging.  The facility’s vision, mission and aesthetic concerns should be combined with psychology to achieve an art program that meets both the facility’s and patients’ needs.


Main Lobby & Corridors

Corridor artwork is often only seen for a limited time and usually while in motion.  Clear and simplistic images that are easily recognizable should be used in areas such as these where the viewing time is short.  Each should be visually interesting on its own but also work well together when seen as one part of a complete space décor.

Thematic placement of imagery also complements and enhances your facilities existing wayfinding system by helping to define treatment areas.  High impact art following in the theme would then be placed at decision points, elevator banks and at the end of corridors as directional landmarks.

High profile accent walls and other areas that receive a fair amount of traffic but not extended viewing times are recommended for all mission related artwork and feature wall placements.  While it is important to reinforce the facilities pride in its patients and visitors we must also take care as to not set forth visual reminders of less welcome memories.

Waiting & Exam Room

Successful art selection will hold the interest of the viewer and reduce the feel of wait time and anxiety.  The longer a viewer is exposed to an image, the more advantageous it is to have a distant horizon line.  An image with distance will contain large amounts of detail which invites the viewer to “walk into the picture” while waiting for appointments or family members.

Specialty Clinics - Geriatric & Nursing Home

Older adults are the most vulnerable and least able to deal with environmental stressors.  There are many factors to consider when choosing artwork for this generation.  As vision deficits are common, abstract or impressionistic imagery would be indiscernible to the viewer.

Use of artwork that represents everyday life - home, children, familiar objects and things reminiscent of their time are optimal.  Those patients suffering from dementia will benefit greatly from the familiarity represented in artwork.

Specialty Clinics - Mental Health

Clearly defined pictures that employ full spectrum color are required in psychiatric or life skills areas.  What not to use is almost as important as what to use.  We must avoid busy patterns, distorted figurative work, artwork with animal faces looking directly at the viewer and any indiscernible imagery such as all abstract artwork.  Full-color photography is highly recommended for these patient areas.  Creative offers several artwork framing and mounting methods that address the concerns of the mental health environment.