Athens Photographic Project artists focused their studies this year on how the arts are used in healthcare settings and were commissioned to create images for a new photography collection available to residents at the region’s psychiatric hospital, Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare (ABH). The collection is designed to provide patients with a large-format photographic print of their choice to display in their bedroom during their stay at the hospital. Nearly 80 photographs are included in the collection, and will be housed on a portable “Art-Cart”, facilitated by peer support specialists at ABH.
Each of the 38 artists participating in APP’s 2012-2013 photography classes selected two photographs for the Art-Cart based on what messages they wanted to send to someone at ABH. Artists had the unique opportunity to learn about the arts in healthcare field and to then define for themselves how the arts heal. APP artists considered the symbolic quality of their subject, use of color and light, as well as personal meaning. The result is a diverse body of work representing a full spectrum of emotion and complexity.
This special collection is presented publicly as the group exhibition, Healing Vision. The photographs and artist statements are intended first as intimate companions during a period of hospitalization. As this work is shared outside the hospital, it is our hope the you will feel the personal strength of the images and appreciate the life experience the artists bring to their choices and expressions.