Header Image: Looking Up, 2014, Beck Anstee, MSN, APRN, FNP, RN, CMSRN, Swedish Covenant  Hospital/Northshore, oil on board, 10” x 8”

Nurses’ Relaxation and Renewal through the Arts

Presented by Hektoen Nurses and the Humanities and the Hektoen International Journal of Medical Humanities

April 9, 2021 – July 11, 2021

ReNewal: A Showcase Event for Nurses’ Art Expressions

Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.

Florence Nightingale

Hektoen Nurses and Humanities and the International Museum of Surgical Science are delighted to announce the newly rescheduled exhibit: Nurses’ Relaxation and Renewal through the Arts, to April 9 through July 11, 2021. Nurses who submitted work to the original showcase will participate with the same pieces originally submitted.

“In order to celebrate the 2020 World Health Organization designated International Year or the Nurse, Nurses’ Month (May), and Florence Nightingale’s Birthday. That designation has been extended to 2021. In addition, it is the 200th birthday of Clara Barton.  Guest Speakers related to the arts and humanities as well as workshops and conversations among nurse artists will be scheduled. It is rumored that Florence Nightingale has been seen dusting the window sills and cleaning the corners of cobwebs and may appear to grace the exhibit. We hope to provide inspiration and a sense of community in this time of uncertainty.

Over 100 nurses and nursing students submitted over 150 pieces of visual art, print, prose, photography, poetry, musical performance and crafts. We are so thankful for all nurses for their dedication to patients and the profession. Your visit to the Museum will be a wonderful way to honor these heroes and heroines and their creativity.”

To view the Digital Catalog of all works submitted to the exhibit, please click below:
Exhibit 1 / Exhibit 2 / Exhibit 3 / Exhibit 4


A special thanks to the steering committee for this exhibit: Sandra Gaynor, Geraldine Gorman, Cora Palmer and Mary Ann McDermott. We are grateful to our sponsors who contributed so generously to our endeavor. Sponsorship donations will be used for our 2021 Museum Rental, funding the Digital Catalog and free museum admission for nurses and nursing students.

The Hektoen International Journal of Medical Humanities, co-sponsor of our exhibit, invites you to subscribe or submit to their free online journal of the medical and health humanities. Articles explore medicine through the lens of art, education, ethics, history, literature, philosophy, and sociology. Associate Editor of the Journal, Anne Jacobson, MD, MPH, has informed us that they will feature Nursing in a section of their upcoming issue and plans to highlight the work of nurses for the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and invites you to submit. Please visit their Submission Guidelines page for more information.

About Hektoen Nurses and the Humanities: Nurses & the Humanities was founded in June 2006 to present programs that demonstrate and encourage the healing power of the arts and the humanities for caregivers and their patients. Programs addressing diverse themes of nursing and the humanities (art, literature, history, philosophy, music, theater, and dance) have various formats, including lectures, workshops, classes, and excursions. The programs are geared towards nurses, caregivers, medical professionals, and nursing students, but are open to the general public.

The Hektoen Institute Nurses and Humanities Advisory Committee provides humanistic, creative and interactive educational opportunities to clinicians. We endeavor to expand imaginative horizons and to explore the arts as a source of healing for the self and for providing compassionate and holistic care to others. Our interactive arts-focused programs offer opportunities to network outside the healthcare arena and to explore the untapped healing potential of creativity.

About Hektoen International Journal of Medical Humanities: Hektoen International is a free online journal of medical humanities, its articles are first published in the appropriate thematic section of the journal, this being the official publication date for future reference. The articles may later be highlighted on the front page and sometimes republished there, for we think of our journal as a museum and its articles as its precious collection, to be exhibited again and again, like a Correggio or Titian, not archived and forgotten.

We also publicize our articles through email newsletters and social media pages. Publishing online allows prompt publishing, gives access to a wider audience, and keeps pace with evolving technology. In an era of change and innovation, just as when the printing press of Guttenberg replaced the illuminated manuscripts of monks and scribes, it is truly exciting to be on the cusp of new developments and experiment with new forms of communication, but also to balance the modern with the traditional, and publish a serious journal of medical humanities, thus Uniting Medicine with Culture.

Located in the Illinois Medical District, the Hektoen Institute of Medicine was founded in 1943 by a group of prominent Cook County physicians as a venue for funding and conducting medical research and education. It was named after Ludvig Hektoen, professor of pathology at Cook County Hospital and Rush Medical College, who made many advances in science and was considered to be one of the first to devote himself prominently and consistently to the science of medicine.

Today, Hektoen is a nonprofit health service and research organization that administers grant awards on behalf of community organizations, independent investigators, and institutions working to improve care and resources for the underserved. Hektoen’s sponsored programs address some of the most pressing health concerns facing underserved populations in Chicago and throughout the world, including: domestic violence, substance use, and mental health; HIV care and support services; community oncology; early intervention; healthcare reform; and a diverse array of other research and services.

The Institute also engages in a series of educational programs, publishing Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to advancing the medical humanities, and supporting several other programs whose goal is to improve health-care and education in the Chicago area.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Platinum ($1000)

Advocate Aurora Health

Loyola University Niehoff School of Nursing

Gold ($500)

Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses Chicago Chapter #317

Illinois Nurses Foundation (INF)

Dennis and Mary Ann McDermott RN EdD

Silver ($100-$250)

Yalanda Comeaux MJ,MSN,CMSRN

Cora Palmer MSN, CMSRN

Illinois Nurses Association

Evelyn Perkins RN

Royce Candies Chicago

Sigma Theta Tau, Alpha Beta Chapter

Unity Hospice

Church Health

Kathleen Blanchfield

Barbara Lockhart

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.