When the Detroit-based Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion opens for patient care on Jan. 20, some of the artwork hanging in the space may look familiar. The 187,000-square-foot pavilion will feature a collection from the Detroit Institute of Art’s Inside Out program, an initiative that aims to bring art to locals through installations set up across the metro Detroit area.
As part of the partnership between the health care system and the museum, the new space will display 28 high-quality reproductions of famous paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Detroit artist Charles McGee, Nigerian contemporary artist Solomon Irein Wangboje, German painter Karin Kneffel, and more.
Hanging on the first, second, and third floors of the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, each work was selected based on the feelings they may evoke. Pieces in the waiting areas feature hopeful imagery, colorful work near the Nancy Vlasic Skywalk — the walkway that connects the pavilion to the Henry Ford Hospital — are meant to capture the attention of passerby, and artwork located near the elevators are intended to soothe anxious patients.
“Art holds incredible power – it can provoke, inspire, connect, and teach. But most importantly, it can heal,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA, in a press release. “Through these examples of human creativity, patients and their families can find hope and beauty…”
Officials with Henry Ford Health System also hope the partnership will give out-of-town visitors — many of whom are not able to explore Detroit — an opportunity to enjoy the city’s art scene.
“Some of our patients travel from other states and even other countries, but because of the time needed for treatment, and their physical condition, they might not have an opportunity to get out and experience the rich arts and cultural offerings of Detroit,” says Megan Winkel, manager of the Healing Arts Program at the health system’s cancer institute, in a press release. “Through this partnership, our patients with cancer and their families can enjoy artworks featured in the DIA’s world-class collection, right from where they are being treated.”
The artwork is part of Henry Ford’s bigger mission to create a healing environment for patients and their families. Along with the Inside Out pieces, the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion features floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light, a third-floor terrace and meditation spaces, and gathering areas for support groups, yoga classes, and music and art therapy.
For more information, visit henryford.com.