Biannual art show features works by Maimonides Health psychiatric art therapy patients.
BROOKLYN, NY – On Friday, Maimonides Health hosted “Immersion in a New Start,” an exhibit featuring twenty-three artists presenting their artwork created at Maimonides Medical Center’s psychiatric group art therapy sessions. Artists took part in the Art Therapy in the Wellness and Recovery Program & Adult Outpatient Services, part of the Department of Psychiatry. This art show has been hosted biannually since 2008, save for a hiatus during 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. Despite the lack of exhibition throughout the pandemic, patients gathered in groups to create and process the way that Covid-19 impacted and was relevant to their life and art.
“Our team of skilled psychiatric clinicians went above and beyond during the worst of the pandemic, caring for their patients during such trying times,” said Maimonides Health CEO Ken Gibbs. “In another sign that we are moving toward recreating our social connections, it is an honor to host this exhibition of art from our patients. I know they are all in good hands at Maimonides, where they are receiving world-class psychiatric care.”
The Therapeutic Activities Department at Maimonides Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, offers a rich, dynamic program led by professionally trained art, dance, drama, music and recreational therapists. The diverse orientation of the activity therapy groups comprises an eclectic theoretical approach to treatment, including experiential non-verbal psychotherapy, and utilizing the group experience as a mode for creativity, self-expression and communication. The therapists work holistically with the patients, attempting to capitalize on the patient’s strengths and talents. The groups provide experiences to foster self-awareness where learned skills and emotional resilience will carry over into the home, community and job.
“This plunge into artistry creates an opportunity for a new start. The blank page, unformed block
of clay, raw canvas – all are void of information waiting for one’s mark, one’s input,” explained Gwendolyn Kurtz, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, Art Therapist. “Group members use this tabula rasa to examine their ideals and beliefs with a fresh perspective, reframing and discovering new ways of healing and well-being. Ideas of what one planned to create can bump up against an unexpected space in this journey, perhaps even an uncomfortable one, which still deserves time and attention.”
About Maimonides Health
Maimonides Health is Brooklyn’s largest healthcare system, serving over 300,000 patients each year through the system’s 3 hospitals, 1800 physicians and more than 80 community-based practices and outpatient centers. The system is anchored by Maimonides Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest independent teaching hospitals and home to centers of excellence in numerous specialties; Maimonides Midwood Community Hospital (formerly New York Community Hospital), a 130-bed adult medical-surgical hospital; and Maimonides Children’s Hospital, Brooklyn’s only children’s hospital and only pediatric trauma center. Maimonides’ clinical programs rank among the best in the country for patient outcomes, including its Heart and Vascular Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Bone and Joint Center, and Cancer Center. Maimonides is an affiliate of Northwell Health and a major clinical training site for SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. For additional information, please visit www.maimo.org.