UK Arts in HealthCare, Art Inc. Kentucky Brings Healing To Patients Through Art

Krista Buckel

859-231-0054 x1034


1450 North Broadway

Lexington, KY 40505


Across the nation and around the world, clinical healthcare providers are incorporating the arts as a means of promoting the well-being of patients. These providers recognize that art isn’t just decorative but can also promote healing.


In fact, a 2021 study by the World Health Organization titled “What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being?” found that the arts helped prevent illness, promote health, as well as manage and treat cancer, diabetes, trauma, abuse, acute conditions, and neurological disorders.

Over 40 percent of healthcare facilities in the United States devote significant resources to promoting healing with art through musical performances, healing gardens, art classes, and permanent public displays of paintings, sculptures, and murals.


The University of Kentucky’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital stands among this group of forward-thinking healthcare providers, having implemented a program to further healing in clinical environments. This initiative, overseen by Jason Akhtarekhavari, procures and displays the work of over 3,200 local, regional, national, and international artists in hospitals and healthcare provider offices.


“Research suggests, and international arts in health practice and programming demonstrates that art can decrease the length of a hospital stay, reduce the need for pain medication, and lessen patient anxiety,” said Akhtarekhavari. “We’re using art at the Chandler Hospital to treat the health of the whole patient.”

This year, Ahktarekhavari visited ArtHouse Kentucky, a non-profit retail art gallery operated by Art Inc. and Community Ventures, to find some art for UK’s network of medical providers. He selected an assortment of work to display, including the whimsical paintings of Dawna Scripps, festive clay works by ceramic artists Jana John and Terri Berish, Paulita Zaglul’s mixed-media work, colorful acrylics by Dawna Rachelle Gaither, detailed fiber work of quilter Kelly Hutchens, photography by George Lewis, who often captures scenes from his native Appalachia, basketry by Aesha N’Dao, a native of Senegal whose hand-woven art provides financial support for women in her home country,  and work by Nick Tudor—an emerging talent who draws detailed reptiles, and dinosaurs to combat his anxiety.


“For most of my life, creating art has helped me cope with social anxiety, so I understand first-hand how art facilitates healing,” said Art Inc. affiliated artist Nick Tudor. “It’s an honor to be a part of a community that incorporates arts in healthcare, and it is a great feeling to know that my art is being used right here in Lexington to help others heal.”


“We are honored that the University of Kentucky’s Arts in HealthCare program continues to support our program and our artists as they procure new pieces for their hospital network,” said Art Inc. President Mark Johnson. “In addition to the revenue generated for the artists, it’s also a tremendous opportunity for them to have their work exhibited in the permanent collection of such a prominent public institution.”




About Art Inc. Kentucky: Art Inc. Kentucky, supported by Community Ventures, is a non-profit, member-focused business and marketing incubator for artists and creatives. Art Inc. provides emerging and established artists with the services, resources, and educational opportunities needed to broaden their exposure, increase their income, and build long-term sustainable businesses.


About Community Ventures: Founded in 1982 as a community-based, non-profit organization, Community Ventures (CV) strengthens communities and improves the overall quality of life for Kentuckians by supporting job creation, small business ownership, and home ownership. CV is headquartered in Lexington with branch locations in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Louisville, Mayfield, Millersburg, and Owensboro. For 21 consecutive years, CV has been named Microlender of the Year by the Kentucky Small Business Administration.