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The Catalyst

Coastal artist delighted to see MUSC feature her art

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

As an artist, Dee Beard Dean is more accustomed to seeing her work in formal exhibitions, art galleries and shows.

Imagine her surprise to see her landscape paintings and nature prints hanging on walls of inpatient rooms and gracing the hallways and waiting rooms inside the Medical University hospital.

The opportunity came as Dean was brought in as a patient to MUSC’s Chest Pain Center in mid-September. After completing some tests, Dean’s neurologist wanted to keep her overnight for observation and made arrangements for her to be transferred to 9West’s neuroscience unit in the University hospital.

As she was transferred across campus, it wasn’t long before Dean and her husband Nick Chalfa, M.D., were wheeling down 9West’s main hallway when something familiar caught her eye.

“I remember looking up and seeing a Carolina marsh scene painting hanging on the wall. Then I kept seeing more of my artwork hanging in the hallway and inside nearby patient rooms. I realized these were works I had painted more than 10 to15 years ago, and it really perked me up to see them again,” Dean said.

Landscape artist Dee Beard Dean poses with one of her paintings displayed in hallways and patient rooms throughout the hospital. photo provided

Dean, who is an award-winning portrait and landscape painter, resides on John’s Island. She paints on location and at her home studio and displays a lot of her works at her downtown Charleston gallery, Galerie on Broad.

Both she and her husband remembered that a lot of those early works featuring  South Carolina coastal marsh scenes and other landscapes celebrating Lowcountry life, were sold and marketed through her son’s gallery, the John Beard Collection. Her son, also an artist, is a supplier to interior designers, art galleries, home furnishing retail operations and contract and hospitality firms.Dean’s original paintings, portraits and Giclee canvas reproductions hang in hospitals and medical facilities, health care offices, business complexes and public buildings throughout the country.

Scientific articles and evidence-based studies have looked at the effectiveness of hospital design in creating health care environments that can impact the quality of patient care. One study looked at how improved design characteristics such as single-bed patient rooms, reduced noise, use of natural lighting and subdued color palates on walls and visual art displays can contribute to reducing stress and promoting better outcomes.

According to the Center for Health Design, art such as waterscapes, landscapes, flowers and some figurative art can positively contribute to healing environments.

“From my perspective, each of my paintings share a small part of me and if anyone can find joy looking at or admiring the beauty in each piece then that pleases me both as an artist and an individual,” said Dean, who was released the following day is now recovering well.

October 19, 2013

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