An ArtPrize Entry Named Hope
The artwork at the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital venue will likely be one of the most uniquely created pieces this year. It’s a collective endeavor with medical overtones and far reaching impact.
The team leader at Mary Free Bed’s East Beltline Hand and Occupational Therapy Clinic is an art lover. Amy Heathfield, MS, OTR/L, CHT, CLT, has wanted to make a sculpture using the tools of her trade for some time. This year, the pieces came together – literally.
Patients provided the inspiration. They often say the therapists give them HOPE “…because now I can play the guitar again, or sleep, or quilt, or use my hands without pain.” The Mary Free Bed mission is to “restore HOPE and freedom through rehabilitation.” So, the ArtPrize entry HOPE was born.
H is constructed of thermoplastic braces. When patients first arrive after an injury or surgery, braces are individually created to stabilize hands during the initial healing. O is a collage of pictures showing patients performing tasks they were unable to do before rehabilitation. P is an assortment of items that hands often hold or manipulate from shovels to spoons. Finally, E is illuminated representing light at the end of the therapy tunnel.
Talk about creative rehabilitation… Depending on individual needs, therapists devised activities that would benefit patients while enabling them to be artistically productive. Some worked on weight bearing while sawing PVC pipes. Others concentrated on wrist stabilization as they used a drill to screw the metal flanges into the boards used for the letter bases. Still other patients did hand exercises while sorting glass beads. From scissor skills to painting, rehabilitation became inspirational…and art.