Exhibit at Cedars-Sinai explores art therapy while celebrating Black art

The exhibit features art by Black artists from various generations, highlighting a range of Black subjects, life and history.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Art can serve many purposes, but at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center they want art to aid with the healing process. A recent exhibit at the hospital specifically explores the healing power of art with the Black experience.

"The first time I walked through the hallways and saw this artwork I was taken aback because this is the first time that I've seen this type of exhibit here at Cedars and I loved it," said Lloyd Davis, a CT technician at the hospital.

The exhibit, called Open Doors, features 21 pieces of art by Black artists from various generations, highlighting a range of Black subjects, life and history. Artist Phoebe Beasley has work featured in the exhibit and she believes many people will be able to relate to the different pieces.

"Not only would somebody African American be able to see that picture of themselves, but people from all diaspora," Beasley said.

The exhibit came to be when Anne Burford-Johnson was visiting her husband in the hospital and noticed that the art at the hospital wasn't very diverse. The Open Doors exhibit includes works of art loaned to the hospital by prominent Black leaders like Burford-Johnson and Dr. V. Joy Simmons.

"Part of that experience for that particular patient was she noticed some of the impressive collection that we have at Cedars and saw the great artists, the great artworks, but she wasn't seeing herself reflected in that art," said John Lange, the art program curator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"To have the opportunity to be asked to loan a piece of work to have it displayed in the hospital was very exciting," Simmons said. "I think this type of work and hospital is understanding the benefit and what happens when people can see art as part of their healing process."

The exhibit is located on the plaza level of the medical center and can be viewed by patients and visitors through August.

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