Virtual pets bring comfort to young patients
Hirsch Perlman’s 11-photograph series Cats & Dogs is a good example of the intersection of art and patient care at Cleveland Clinic. Patients admitted to the Children’s Hospital can choose their favorite from these images of canines and felines. A smaller version is printed out for them to hang in their room and take home when they leave the hospital.
“The kids love it,” says Curator Jennifer Finkel. “The photographs are fun, comforting and lovable. And Perlman captured the individual personalities of these animals so perfectly.”
Blackjack,” © Hirsch Perlman, Cats & Dogs, 2005
“Zeke,” © Hirsch Perlman, Cats & Dogs, 2005
Ms. Finkel notes that choosing a virtual pet gives young hospital patients an element of control. “Doctors and nurses say this project has made a difference. It puts a smile on a child’s face during a rough time,” she says. “I love that we’re able to interact with patients in this way. Like the entire Art Program,
this project in particular speaks to the quality of the patient experience at Cleveland Clinic.”
It also speaks to the versatility of art. “The same piece of art can be both personal and public,” she says. “A work of art isn’t something to be scared of. It’s something to embrace.”
Story adapted from the Acoustiguide audio art tour, which allows visitors to learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s art collection at their own pace.
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