By Claire Salinas
When you think of art and design, healthcare is far from the first thing to typically come to mine. The Healthcare Gallery in Baton Rouge looking to combine what’s good for the mind and soul with what’s good for the body.
This nontraditional venue that uses art and design to promote wellbeing, and on April 17, the gallery will temporarily transform restaurant by hosting a pop-up dinner.
With dinner prepared by Chef Chris Wadsworth of Triumph Kitchen and his team of students, the evening will also feature body painting by Angela Rene Roberts. The dinner is one of many events the gallery has had recently to get the word out about the gallery’s unique approach to healthcare.
“[Most people] can relate to being overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of a crowded waiting room,” said Executive Assistant Alexis Stephenson. “When people come into the gallery they automatically feel like they’re at home or they’re at this getaway retreat. It’s already stressful enough to go to the doctor. We want you to feel comfortable and positive here.”
The Healthcare Gallery is primarily a place for patients to receive medical and treatment by a doctor, but they can also receive services in nutrition, skin care, massage and different types of laser services.
“We’re kind of an overall mind, body, and health facility,” said Stephenson.
During the dinner, body paint artist Angela Rene Roberts will demonstrate some of her work. Roberts works with the assistance of her photographer, Cully Firmin, who captures her one-time works through photography. Firmin believes body paint can serve as a way to promote healthier attitudes and acceptance about healthy body types in all shapes, colors and sizes.
“Although we don’t want to promote unhealthy obesity or anorexia on the other extreme, our cultural standards of beauty have not always been about health, they’ve been about aesthetics,” said Firmin. “The ideal weight for you is not the same as it is for someone else.”
Although a nude model will be used for the exhibit, attendees need not feel apprehensive, as a preliminary painting will be done in private to keep the focuse off of nudity.
“We usually take this tasteful approach that applies a minimum amount of coverage, so when she is introduced she will have a base amount of painting,” said Firmin. “We will continue through the evening so people can see it build and come together.”
The idea for The Healthcare Gallery came about through the husband and wife team, Leone Elliott and Sophia Omar, and Stephenson feels their idea is one worth spreading.
“No one is doing this,” said Stephenson. “We think that sharing this mindset [on healthcare] can spread like fire. People have to recognize how important it is to be mindful of how to take care of themselves. We’re excited to offer this kind of nontraditional environment to people. We definitely want people to know we are this really versatile space, we offer not only health services, but we also have art exhibitions.”
Stephenson says overall the gallery is “dedicated to basically empowering people to embrace the idea of being healthy and feeling like they can take control of their health and their life.”
“Art is therapy, it might speak to you and remind of you something in your life,” said Stephenson. “We think that the mind can be inspired through art and we think mental and physical health go hand in hand.”
The evening will consist of a 10-course dinner with a good number of appetizers. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information about the event, contact The Healthcare Gallery at (225) 384-5378.