ARTATWORK develops art programs, art plans and provides artworks created specifically to foster engaged environments that act to calm, focus, revitalize and help heal for patients, patients' families, staff and visitors


We offer a range of services from developing a master artplan for new, redeveloped, or established hospitals and health clinics to selecting and placing works of art in a doctor’s office. Working with leading contemporary artists we have an inventory of appropriate works on hand. ARTATWORK also commission artworks as needed for locations such as patient rooms, lobbies, corridors, offices, meeting rooms, gardens and grounds in media ranging from photography, sculpture, prints, watercolours and video to art gardens. Additionally we offer related services such as establishing an in-hospital gallery, visiting artist programs, donor recognition programs, fund-raising plans and internet information websites. ARTATWORK can identify needs and develop an overall concept designed for specific user groups. Working closely with you and your team, we manage all phases of development, production and installation.


Our intention is to promote a sense of care and calm by offering a more comfortable, engaged atmosphere that encourages self-strengthening thoughts. We focus on the importance of the individual experience and engage the senses in positive ways with presentations that can be explored through visual pleasure, play, memory and reflection.


The design and development of hospitals and health-care environments offers the first opportunity to facilitate their overall goal: to help healing.

Deciding what is important is always a challenge. Reflecting a healing atmosphere for patients, families of patients, and staff is not only an important symbol for hospitals; it can help create an atmosphere that promotes healing in its own right


We know that patients often approach health care facilities with confused feelings of fear and hope. It is fear and hope fueled by stories in the press, movies and TV, and told by relatives and friends, stories of outstanding life-saving practices, but others of oversight and malpractice with tragic results.

Information about health care, both conventional and alternative, offers endless new discoveries that confirm or contradict what we thought we knew. We are often asked to believe extreme things about our health: that we can heal ourselves; that chemotherapy is the solution; that women need mammograms and that mammograms are a major contributor to breast cancer. The patient is inundated with conflicting information. There are few assurances that medical professionals have one perfect answer.

Adding to this confusion, the patient may have been separated from the support and regular rhythms of their lives, removed from loved ones, home, work or school.

In daily practice people allow their bodies to be touched only by those whom they trust and love. Respect and control of personal space is a prerequisite for normal levels of comfort. As a patient, comfortable standards of personal space must be set aside. It may be necessary to be willingly tested, probed, hurt in the hands of strangers

The level of stress generated by these situations can be overwhelming.

To invest the hospital environment with an atmosphere that communicates good care makes good common sense. It contributes to the control of stress and helps establish trust. It also responds to growing research indicating that environment has an important effect on health.

The calmer and more comfortable we make patients, the less stress they suffer. The result is more cooperation and motivation toward helping the process of their own healing.
The better hospitals support the families of patients with a positive atmosphere, the better families can focus on being supportive of their hospitalized family member.
The more engaged and motivated hospital staff are, the better they can perform their professional duties in a caring manner.

Achieving a less stressful, more comfortable and engaged environment maximizes both human potential and on site resources. A better environment improves the basic quality of life, resulting in more effective and efficient health care. With the above in mind, it is important to carefully develop the physical environment of the health-care facility. The facility’s environment acts as a window to its intentions and attitudes towards patients, their families and staff. In turn, this expression of intention generates a response of either comfort and trust or fear and anxiety.

A comprehensive art program will help shape a better hospital atmosphere in a number of important ways that contribute toward a healing environment. As well, the content explored within individual artworks are also capable of offering a healing influence in their own right.


There is much to be gained from an Art and Heal Program in health care facilities. Benefits include:

An atmosphere that will communicate the health-care facilities broad commitment to patients, families of patients and staff

An engaged and enlivened environment

Artworks that attractively contribute to orientation by providing markers of place and wayfinding assistance

Help in making patients mobile by providing destinations for a walk.

A valuable and prestigious collection of original artworks

A collection of artworks that will offer content to focus, calm and help heal.

An enhanced and attractive appearance of the facility


Noel Harding
Principal of Noel Harding Studio and recent recipient of the Toronto Arts Award, Harding’s many public art projects, proposals and plans include, Toronto’s celebrated “Elevated: Wetlands,” Atlanta Olympics “Potato Eaters,” and Amsterdam’s: “ A romantic/lyrical object for the Nassauplein.” He has acted as a cultural consultant for Downsview Park and is presently developing a revitalization masterplan for the Toronto Zoo.

David Olson
Principal of Oleson Worland Architects and award winning architect and planner for Village of Yorkville Park, Toronto.

Richard Rhodes
Rhodes teaches, curates and writes about contemporary art and is the editor for Canadian Art magazine. He has recently completed a best selling book about historical and contemporary Canadian art for children and adults entitled "A First Book Of Canadian Art"
Rhodes is also known for his images in the Globe and Mail’s “City Sites” and “Material World” columns, and as the photographer for three collaborative award-winning books. He has been a curator for Toronto’s Harbourfront Gallery, The Power Plant and was the founding publisher and editor of C Magazine.

Dyan Marie
Principal of ARTATWORK, Marie has a history of work in public art, arts organizations, art advising, project management and design and has also been involved with curating and art writing. Marie has been an exhibiting visual artist since 1981 and is represented by Wynick/Tuck Gallery in Toronto. She is the founder of Cold City Gallery and co-founder of C Magazine. Recent art and health projects include a master artplan for Oshawa General Hospital featuring commissioned artworks for patient rooms, corridors, lobbies and garden. Now in progress for High Park, Toronto is The Garden of Hope, sponsored by the Breast Cancer Foundation of Canada.

Eva-Marie Stern
An art therapist and psychotherapist who uses art as a medium for healing, Stern works in Toronto at Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre and in private practice. She has appeared on the television health program "Doctor on Call" and has acted as a consultant to educational institutions, health care facilities and community agencies on the uses of art as therapy. As an expert on the interface between trauma and art, she has served on projects such as the Women Recovering from Abuse Program (WRAP) and the reception of Kosovar refugees.

1444 Dupont, Building D, No 31,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6P 4H3
Telephone: 416- 531-121

We focus on the importance of the individual experience, encourage self-strengthening thoughts and engage the senses in positives way with presentations that can be explored through visual pleasure, action, play, memory and reflection.