Goals and Outcomes

Goal: Install art at the Cool Aid Community Health Services clinics.
Outcome: The Cool Aid Community Health Services clinics are now enlivened with more than forty works of art.

Goal: Expand a developing practice of participatory design into the community.
Outcome: Strategies of participatory curation developed in the classroom remained much the same, though due to the multi-sited nature of this project, communication strategies were modified and substantially improved. (The fact that it took multiple years to find a home for the “pink” image is an example of this process.)

Goal: Increase vault space.
Outcome: The University of Victoria Art Collections gained valuable vault space.

Additional Outcomes and Observations

• Art historical research can play a therapeutic role, as exemplified by our biographic research into the life of artist Courtney Milne.
• Art within this clinical setting were designed to calm and to helpfully redirect thoughts and conversations away from bodily and mental ailments.
• Clinicians noted the value of having art history students work within the clinic. Students were seen as having a positive impact on the social environment and one that differed from those of medical and nursing students. In one particular instance, the value of the students’ presence and engagement with staff shortly after the death of a patient within the clinic was very clearly expressed.
• Clinicians and clients of Cool Aid Health Services gained greater access to art. Issues of clinicians’ limited time and clients’ experiences of social restrictions became apparent through this installation process.
• The project inspired other members of the community to donate art or art related materials. For example, the clinic’s visiting psychiatrist donated a book about Courtney Milne.
• Students indicated the value of gaining community and especially clinical experience. Most commented on the value of this applied learning experience. Many appreciated working with multiple communities, both gallery and clinic staff.
• Students came to recognize the clinic’s staff, not just its clients, as a community worthy of engagement.
• We gained an awareness of the need to call public attention to the clinic and our project through extra-clinic programming. As a consequence, we developed exhibits such as “Connect the Blocks” (2011), on “Communities and Nations” (2012), “Art Procession” (2012), and the ACCESS Art web exhibit (2012).