The CEO of Nova Scotia based DiaDan Holdings Ltd. recently took her passion for photography and applied it to the greater good by donating several pieces of her photographic artwork to local charity.
Eileen Richardson’s interest in the arts first surfaced in the 1960s while studying photography in college. The school supported her efforts by allowing her to take school equipment on trips to the Caribbean, so she could further hone her skill. Richardson says this was a life changing moment for her.
“Not only did the generosity of the art program teach me about giving, it also helped shape me into the person I am today,” the DiaDan Holdings’ CEO told us. “Now I am thrilled to be able to give back to the community through my photography, and I recognize the value art has on people in need.”
The positive power that art has on people has proven benefits, specifically in a therapeutic setting. According to Psychology Today, art therapy helps children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.
Although contemporary art therapy is a fairly new practice, it really wasn’t defined and developed into a distinct field of study until the 1940s. Art therapy was founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation is healing for those who seek deeper understanding of themselves.
Amy Genzlinger of Fort Myers, Florida, is a believer in the healing power of art. After suffering from a vocal cord injury and unable to speak, she turned to art as a way to communicate with her loved ones. Becoming inspired to share the healing power of art with others, Amy founded Art From the Heart, an in-home crafting party business.
Amy says some of her favorite clients are people who have difficulty communicating, like those with Alzheimer’s disease or autism. She has seen first-hand how creating art has helped her daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, express herself.
Perceived as an encouraging way for hospitalized patients to destress, art therapy is often offered in medical institutions, especially those treating cancer patients. Both hospitals and non-profit organizations arrange art therapy programs to lessen cancer patients’ stress and aloneness. These programs have been beneficial in alleviating the anxiety in patients and their families, who are emotionally affected by the illness as well.
In addition to helping those suffering from ailments, art has proven benefits throughout all walks of life. It helps children be better, well-rounded students and it has been known to improve the quality of life for seniors.
Art even proves to be a beneficial part of the workforce. As a business leader, DiaDan Holdings’ Eileen Richardson adds, “Art helps enhance the lives of so many people – In the business world it can encourage critical thinking and better communication. It can also help us achieve a better self awareness, and it can bridge the gap between cultures.”
Art will continue to be a valuable part of our world as it surrounds our lives in every form and every location, sometimes without even realizing it.
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