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Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Halsey Institute Create Partnership Between Art and Science

MUSC Fosters Healing in New State-of-the Art Hospital

CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- In February when MUSC opens the doors to Ashley River Tower, its new state-of-the-art hospital, patients and visitors will experience the largest collection of original, contemporary South Carolina art on permanent display.

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Health professionals have known for decades that art has an impact on healing, but more recent studies indicate that the presence of art in hospitals can shorten recovery time and hospital stays and reduce stress and anxiety for patients and caregivers. With this in mind, MUSC began planning for original artwork to be included in every public area of its new 641,000 square foot hospital including patient and exam rooms.

The exhibit "Contemporary Carolina Collection" showcases 873 original works of art by a diverse group of 54 artists who live in South Carolina. MUSC hired Mark Sloan of the Halsey Institute of Art at the College of Charleston to serve as the collection's curator. A statewide call for submissions in 2007 sparked the interest of 275 artists. A selection committee identified 72 finalists for studio visits and interviews before choosing the featured artists. The collection includes a variety of mediums such as quilts, sweetgrass baskets, sculptures, paintings, Catawba pottery and a bottle cap portrait of Philip Simmons. Artists represent diverse age, race, ethnicity and backgrounds.

"Art is an important element in setting the tone for a healing environment, and it has been shown to positively influence a number of clinical measures," said MUSC President Ray Greenberg. "We chose to focus on South Carolina artists to ground the hospital in its native state and to provide a comforting and familiar environment for the patients and families that we serve."

All funding for the artwork came from private donations. Working with the Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston, considerable savings were achieved in the costs of procuring, framing and installing the artwork.

"This unique partnership between MUSC and the College of Charleston has allowed for the creation of a remarkable collection of work by South Carolina artists," said Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston. "This collection offers a cross-section of some of the best artists in the state today."

The value of the integration of arts and a healing environment in a healthcare setting is being recognized by a growing number of leading medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and Stanford.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina is the one of the oldest medical schools in the United States. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC is home to more than 3,000 students and residents, as well as more than 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the University and its affiliates have collective budgets in excess of $1.5 billion per year. MUSC operates a 600 bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or

SOURCE Medical University of South Carolina
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