The primary summer time college that mixes artwork and well being is born at UdeM

Natalie Bondil

Credit: Max Abadian

Can the arts help improve people’s health and well-being? Absolutely, complete different studies. Based on her compelling results, museologist and curator Nathalie Bondil wants to promote the “vision of a museum that does good” and bring museotherapy into the practices of healthcare professionals.

In her role as a sage at the University of Montreal and guided by a desire to bring the arts closer to health, she worked closely with UofM health and art history experts to design a summer school project around this concept she defined. in 2016 in Manifesto for a Humanist Museum of Fine Arts, published at the opening of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Peace Pavilion at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).

“Museotherapy considers the museum as a place that can act on well-being through the contemplation of works of art, artistic creation and guided tours. The summer school will make it possible to give a scientific framework to this approach to make it a tool for promoting the health and well-being of populations”, considers the one who now directs the museum and exhibitions department at the Arab World Institute in Paris.

Olivier Beauchet

Olivier Beauchet

Credit: Photo courtesy

ODr Olivier Beauchet, professor at the University’s Department of Medicine, and Johanne Lamoureux, professor at the Department of Art History and Film Studies at UdeM, provided their insights into the creation of this training entitled “Arts and health: the place of musetherapy”, which combines theoretical lectures, interactive workshops and museum immersion.

Offered free of charge to faculty, students of all university levels and health and arts professionals, the summer course will take place in Montreal from August 29 to September 2 in a hybrid format (in person and via videoconference).

Humanizing care through the arts

ODr Beauchet has long studied ways to introduce more humanity into care to improve the health of the elderly. In the past, geriatricians and neurologists have demonstrated the effectiveness of plastic arts workshops with this clientele in reducing hospital stay. In 2015, in response to the dynamism of the MMFA’s Beaux-Thursdays (guided tours of the Museum’s collections and creative workshops), it launched an international research program to examine the effects of artistic interventions on improving the well-being and socialization of older people.

“The connection between art and health has interested us since the 19th century.and century with art therapy as part of the management of a disease. With muse therapy, the novelty consists of leaving the hospital world to carry out primary prevention with the elderly in particular and with the population in general”, observes the director of the laboratory of the Research Center of the Universitary Institute of Geriatrics of Montreal.

for the Dr Beauchet, it is proven that art increases the connection of the individual with himself and with society and that museums can be a vector for the improvement of the health status of individuals and their socialization. “When we contemplate works of art, we allow ourselves to delve into emotions that allow us to step back and understand what is happening within ourselves. The summer school will teach generic principles of muse therapy that can be applied to all groups of individuals,” he says.

A non-accredited certificate of participation will be given to those who have taken the training and participated in the assessment. Ten university students and three members of the Quebec Network for Research on Aging will be selected to receive a scholarship to participate in an intensive school to be held in France in 2022-2023.

For more information about the summer school “Arts and health: the place of muse therapy”, see the website.

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