You may know AIM artist in residence Sarah Hinds from her work in the hospital and at the bedside. What you may not know is her reach beyond the hospital and our community.
This summer, Sarah was a guest artist for the Study Abroad course titled “Arts for Health, Peace and Community Engagement” that was hosted in Ireland, and she is a recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Award, funded by the U.S. Department of State, which allowed Sarah to travel to Lagos to share and exchange expertise in areas including arts in health, glassblowing, and more.
AIM Artist in Residence’s Global Reach
Sarah began her collaborative artist tour in Northern Ireland, where she was a guest artist for the study abroad course Arts for Health, Peace and Community Engagement, taught by Professor Jenny Lee of the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine. This was Sarah’s third summer as a teaching artist with the program, engaging with fellow artists, community members, and university students as they advance the arts and creativity as a means of social well-being.
Sarah said on her time in Ireland, “Our study abroad course this year was especially exciting. Arts in Medicine staff and faculty, Northern Irish artists and eighteen University of Florida students worked together to collect stories, interviews and insights about the profound impact of art making in response to illness and loss. In collaboration with Queens University Belfast and Ulster University, students responded artistically to shape these stories into two evenings of live performance.”
Sarah’s next stop on her tour was Lagos, Nigeria. There, she collaborated with her host Kunle Adewale and the Tender Arts Nigeria team on a renovation of a Pediatric Ward, with a full scale mural and hand blown glass installation, as well as conducting bedside music and visual art sessions with patients. Sarah and Kunle presented programs on Arts in Health in the United States and Nigeria for 50 participants at the Society of Nigerian Artists and over 100 participants at the 2019 Nigerian Arts in Medicine Fellowship Grand Finale, and toured the National Sickle Cell Center and Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital to gain an understanding of the impact of Arts in Medicine programming in these locations.
Tender Arts Nigeria is a social enterprise and a non-profit making organization which positively impacts children and youth with focus on art therapy, art education, talent development, community development and civic engagement. Sarah said on her time spent with the team, “Tender Arts Nigeria is quickly becoming a world leader on what is possible in the field of Arts in Health. My experience working with their talented and enthusiastic members was nothing short of transformational.”
“I visited Nigeria as a recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Award, funded by the U.S. Department of State. While in Lagos I collaborated with Kunle Adewale, a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow. Our collaboration focused on Arts in Health, a growing field focused on bringing the benefits of creativity and beauty to patients, staff and families in the healthcare environment. I was warmly received in hustling, bustling Lagos, the city that never sleeps! Everywhere I went, people told me I was very welcome. I was offered many tasty delights, such as amala, moi moi and zobo. I got to ride in a kk and get stuck in a Lagos traffic jam. I attended a local church and bought beautiful hand dyed fabrics and clothing. The nurses, matrons and doctors I met at Lagos University Teaching Hospital were warm and friendly. I was impressed by their skill and dedication. The patients and families I worked with were strong and brave. In the face of unspeakable adversity, they welcomed me into their hospital rooms and shared their stories. The artists I collaborated with from Tender Arts Nigeria were energetic professional and positive, and will be friends for life. I am back home in the U.S. now, but a piece of my heart remains in Lagos. I am excited to share my impressions of Nigeria with my friends and colleagues in the United States.”
As part of the Reciprocal Exchange, Nigerian artist Bisola Alagbede, who specializes in work with textiles/fabrics, returned to the US with Sarah for a two week residency here in Gainesville in an effort to better understand Sarah’s work as an artist in the Gainesville community and an artist in residence at UF Health Shands.