The Art for Healing Foundation installs Indigenous artworks to the new health and community services centre in Aupaluk, Nunavik
The Art for Healing Foundation exists to bring the healing power of art to hospitals, healthcare centres, and wellness facilities. Showcasing art in these spaces helps create a feeling of serenity, hope and healing for patients, their families and healthcare providers.
In recent years, some truths about the dark history of Canada’s residential school system have come to light. The ongoing discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools across the country have shown and triggered the injustices and abuse endured by Canada’s Indigenous people.
These events deeply moved The Art for Healing Foundation’s founders, Earl Pinchuk and Gary Blair. They felt strongly about initiating an art project and installations specifically for Indigenous people. Working with the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Art for Healing Foundation received a list of ten healthcare centres across Canada.
Art installation in Aupaluk, Nunavik
“The government informed us that a new CLSC was being built in Aupaluk, Nunavik and that they were interested. I thought it would be a good place to start,” said Earl Pinchuk.
Aupaluk is a small community with a population of about 233 people located in the far north region of Nunavik. The Art for Healing Foundation received donations of Indigenous art and has installed 14 works in the community’s new centre.
Not only will the community find visual stimulation of the art, showing the rich local Indigenous culture, but it also serves as an educational opportunity. Plaques are installed beside each work detailing the artist, their story, and the piece’s background.
“Our mission has always been bringing Canadian art to Canadians, so we felt the time had come for us to bring Indigenous art to our Indigenous Peoples,” Gary Blair told the Montreal Gazette.
“It’s gratifying to know that the community will be able to take pride in its rich cultural heritage.”
A ceremony was held for the building’s grand opening on September 18, 2023. Those using the building for healthcare and community services will have a permanent gallery that showcases the rich Indigenous culture of the north and promotes healing.
Acts of reconciliation
The CommAlert Group is an Indigenous company that supports this initiative and others like it. Clear acts of reconciliation show Indigenous people and communities that progress is being made. It can also inspire others and projects that positively benefit everyone in the community.
“We wanted to tell this story because acknowledging allies is important and something to be celebrated. It also encourages others and becomes a roadmap for those who want to do more and take action on reconciliation,” said Tim Carwell, President of CommAlert.
The next project is already underway!
The Art for Healing Foundation will be working to bring more art installations to Indigenous communities. Their next project will be in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik.
Learn more about the Foundation and how you can get involved by visiting http://www.artforhealingfoundation.org/.
About the Art for Healing Foundation
The Art for Healing Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Earl Pinchuk and Gary Blair in 2002 and whose mission is to bring the healing power of art to hospitals and wellness facilities, transforming public and patient areas into inspiring environments that encourage a sense of serenity and hope for patients, their families, and healthcare providers. Since its inception, the Foundation has installed over 14,000 works of art in 93 healthcare institutions across Canada and in France and England.
Earl Pinchuk and Gary Blair in the CLSC in Aupaluk, Nunavik