“Compassion: The Art of Healing” opens at Coburn Art Gallery

Chante Rutherford, Reporter

On Oct. 22, Ashland University’s Coburn Art Gallery hosted the second exhibition of the academic year. “Compassion: The Art of Healing” is an exhibit that shows how people heal through art.

From photography to collections of sentimental items and even quilts, the exhibit gives a glimpse of how people have gained strength through the hard parts of their lives. Many of the pieces show how nurses, doctors and caregivers are an integral part of healing as they are the ones who are with patients the most and are apart of the healing process.

Along with the reception, Sigma Theta Tau, an honorary Nursing Society, held their fall meeting in Hugo Young Theatre with guest speaker Jeanne Bryner.

“The combination of art and science is a thing that is unique,” said Bryner.

Bryner is a nurse in the state of Ohio and the author of nine books with her current work called, “Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose,” which is about the mind of a nursing student. While speaking at the reception, Bryner also entered in quilt work within the exhibit that shows the faces of many nurses in past decades.

“Many men and women have cared for many people over the decades that they must have their moment. Others must know that being a person in the medical field, especially nursing, is a great decision that can lead them to hear many stories from different folks.”

From the oil paintings, jewelry and ceramics, the one that stuck out to the most people was a drawer. A collection of colored pencils, crayons, a protractor, a pair of scissors, sketches of outfits from the 1940s and a picture of a soldier.

It is a piece of time frozen in place.

Barbara Morejon, caregiver to Ann, decided to gather these items and place them into a simple display.

“She was a fashion designer for a French fashion company. Ann began in the 1930s and still draws to this day,” says Morejon.

Ann nods in agreement. “There was nothing more I wanted to do than designing. I live and breath creating ball gowns, suits and other attires for people,” said Ann.

For over 30 years, Morejon has been a caregiver. The interaction with people and creating new memories is how she goes each day.

Morejon looks over to the head made of fabric and points to it. This is another one of her pieces that sticks out in the gallery.

“That was my father. He had dementia and I created this during the time I spent with him. This was my way of showing both of our expressions within this transformation,” said Morejon.

Science and art combined is a unique way of seeing the paths many have taken in the medical field especially for nurses. Sharing stories with visuals allows the rest of the world to see what they see.

“We are all told to share. Why not our stories?” Morejon said. “The variety of stories that we hear on a constant basis is magnificent and they must be shared too.”