Art for the Soul - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Art for the Soul

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Art and music, combined with traditional medical care are powerful tools for patient recovery.  That's why one lake area hospital has created "Art for the Soul" to bring comfort and tranquility to patients and their families.

With each stroke of the paintbrush, Raejean Clark brings to life the natural beauty of Southwest Louisiana.  "I put the colors that are of this area," says Raejean, "and when I think of this area and the beauty of it."

Raejean was with her husband, Norman German, when she realized inspiration for a new collection was right in front of her.  "We love to fish," says Raejean, "and we would catch certain types of fish and he would say, 'oh, trash fish,' and he would throw them back, because they weren't edible.  I would say, 'no these are beautiful!' and I just started playing with the idea of what I could do with the fish."

What she did was create brightly colored paintings and prints that undoubtedly light up a bare wall. And these works of art will not be in a gallery, but up and down the halls of the 5th floor at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as part of Art for the Soul.  Leif Pedersen with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Philanthropy says, "The hospital is barren of any artwork on the walls and so we wanted to make it a more tranquil setting for patients, family members, physicians and staff members."

This project hit especially close to home for Raejean, who just a few years ago spent a chunk of time in the hospital as she had a brain tumor removed.  "When you walk into a hospital and you're afraid," says Raejean, "whether it's for yourself or for somebody that you love and you see color and design - you know that there's humanity here and there's people that care about your soul as well as your body."

Raejean is just one of three local artists selected to change the setting of the hospital with beautiful pieces. Hopefully, though, this is just the start to something bigger.  "Our goal is to have all eight floors filled with art from Louisiana artists," says Pedersen.

*There's a call for more local artists to get involved with the "Art for the Soul" project at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. If you're interested or want to make a donation to underwrite more artwork being put on display, call The Foundation at 337-494-3226.

*If you want to see some of the paintings and prints from Raejean Clark, check out Beauregard Gallery at 715 Europe Street in Baton Rouge on July 23rd.  There will be a reception for Raejean and her "The Louisiana Perches" series will be put on display.  For more information on this local artist, click here.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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