Laura Miller shared her story about how picking up a paintbrush and putting bold, eye-catching colors on canvas helped her cope with cancer in U.S. News & World Report in 2014.
The former oncology nurse will visit The University of Toledo to talk about “Art and Creative Wellness” at the opening of the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase Friday, Jan. 29.Her talk will be at 4 p.m. in the Mulford Library iCare Room 028/029. A reception with the artists will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library, where more than 60 pieces are on display.
“I started painting a few months after my diagnosis,” Miller said. “I found that while painting, I lose myself to the process and moment, giving me a mental break not otherwise possible. It gave me a good distraction during a difficult time. I like to say I ‘self-medicated’ with art.”
That self-medication with art helps one’s health, too.
“Research now shows that creativity can ease pain, decrease blood pressure, help overall mental health, among other benefits,” Miller said. “The creative process helps patients heal by giving them a break from their worries, even if for a brief time, relax and express themselves.
“My creative outlet was painting, but there are many other creative outlets such as visual arts, music, writing, cooking and gardening, to name a few.”The Monclova, Ohio, resident will discuss the importance of scheduling time to use your imagination.
“We need to think about creative wellness just as we think about diet and exercise,” Miller said. “We all know that it’s important to eat right and be active. So if we know creativity is good for us, we should try to include that as part of our overall wellness plan, too.”
A total of 26 artists will share their inspiring talents in the 2016 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase. Works in several 2- and 3-dimensional media by students, faculty and staff affiliated with the health sciences on Health Science and Main campuses will be on display during the 11th annual event.
“The artist showcase is very popular with our students, faculty and staff,” Jodi Jameson, instructor in the College of Nursing, librarian in Mulford Library, and member of the artist showcase committee, said. “It’s always fun to see the creative side of those that you work or study with on a daily basis.”
The free, public exhibition will be on display through Friday, March 18.