Art Therapy Good For Body & Soul
Wednesday - October 28, 2009 Share
By Wally Hamasaki, Louis Vuitton Creative
Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan, but I truly believe when a door closes, a window will open. Two years ago I suffered a stroke, and it changed my life forever.
Shortly after the stroke, I was admitted into the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. My physical therapist suggested I get involved in the hospital’s art program. My initial thoughts were he must be out of his mind. Me, take an art class?
My wife and daughters were excited about the idea, not because they thought I had any talent or would become a great artist, but because I would get out of the house.
They were right. This program provides a safe place to socialize with others, many of whom are living with the same condition as I. Everyone understands me, and I don’t have to be afraid of what people think. The staff, volunteers and artists in this program are top-notch and I have learned so much from all of them.
One of my favorite pieces of art is a painting I did for a good friend. He also was enduring illness, so I painted the seventh hole of the Makaha West golf course. He has fond memories of this particular hole, as it was one of the holes where he made a hole-in-one! He was touched by the painting, which helped him relive a very happy moment in his life.
I am definitely not one of the hidden talents in this class, but there are some really amazing masterpieces coming out of this program. My fellow artists amaze and inspire me every day - not to become a great artist, but simply as a reminder that there is nothing we can’t accomplish in life, despite the obstacles that everyone faces.
This will be the first year I will have one of my pieces in the annual Art from the Heart event. I don’t think REHAB will get a lot of money for my piece, but just having a piece in the sale makes me feel that I am a truly a part of this incredible program.
I would really like to encourage everyone to attend the annual event that will be held this year on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. Proceeds from this event will directly benefit the Louis Vuitton Creative Arts Program that has helped hundreds of patient artists through the years.
For more information, visit www.rehabhospital.org.
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