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Art Used As Therapy For Patients At Sharpe Hospital

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Sharpe Hospital in Weston held an art exhibit Friday to highlight works of art patients have created as a way to help with treatment.

They may not be the next Monet, but patients at the hospital had a chance to show off their artwork at the hospital's annual exhibit Friday. Staci Arbogast is one of the artists whose work was featured in the show, and she said it's given her a chance to develop an interest she's always had.

"I have always been interested in artsy-fartsy stuff, but this gave me time to do it, and time to get better at it. I'm still working hard at it, but it lets me express how I feel every day," said Arbogast.

And that's what makes the exhibit so important. Artists whose work is on display created it as part of the hospital's Expressive Communication classes, which give patients a chance to use art and writing as part of their therapy. Artists have the option to sell their work, and while they take pride in seeing their artwork sell, it can mean even more.

"Not just as much enjoyment, but that someone believes in them, that they have some self-worth," said Amber Siders, who is a teacher in the program.

And for Arbogast, who saw all eight pieces of her work sell Friday, it's also given her something to look forward to when she leaves Sharpe.

"I'd like to get into Gothic, Rembrandt stuff, if you know what I mean, but that's a little harder for me, so we'll see what comes from that!" Arbogast said.

Proceeds from the sale went directly to the artists themselves. Staff at the hospital said more than 80 pieces were on display, and more than 30 of them sold within the first hour and a half.

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