University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Art for Recovery Project Receives International Healing Arts Award

By Nancy Chan, UCSF Today | April 10, 2006

The walls of UCSF's Mount Zion campus are adorned with colorful murals, patient artwork and breast cancer quilts.

A closer look reveals poignant messages of hope, thoughtful remembrances of loved ones, and bold statements of frustration and defeat. Coping with a life-threatening illness can be isolating. Through the Art for Recovery program, patients can express their feelings and experiences creatively through art and go beyond the boundaries of their illness.

Nurturing the inner creative spirit and unleashing self-expression through art as therapy are goals of Cynthia Perlis, director of Art for Recovery of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The program was recently selected as the winner of the 2006 Blair L. Sadler International Arts Competition, sponsored by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, based in Washington, DC.

"The review panel felt the Art for Recovery program represents one of the most innovative art projects happening," said Gay Hanna, executive director of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. "It demonstrates compelling impact on the quality of the health care experience for patients, their families and caregivers."

The award includes a cash prize of $1,000 and a complimentary registration to the upcoming Society for the Arts in Healthcare Conference, vision + voice: Charting the Course of Arts, Health and Medicine, in Chicago. Perlis will be presented with the award on Thursday, April 27, at a special presentation.

(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

Read more at Nancy Chan, UCSF Today