Local artist Chris Miner has once again joined patients and clients at Providence Care Hospital to share his love of photography and the arts.
Miner first arrived on the steps of Providence Care’s St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital site in 2016. As Providence Care’s first artist-in-residence, Miner led a series of seminars and invited patients and families to attend. Over the course of six months, patients learned about lighting, portraiture and a variety of other skills.
When asked why he chose to return to Providence Care Hospital, Miner said, “I wanted to continue to create opportunities for people who might not otherwise have access to arts programs”. As our conversation continued Miner reflected on his first term as Providence Care’s artist-in-residence. He recalled one patient who was particularly interested in x-ray photos of his legs. The patient chose to frame these photos because they helped to tell “a major, but otherwise invisible part of his narrative”, said Miner.
This was but one of the many patient interactions that helped to inspire his current project at Providence Care Hospital. Miner encourages patients and clients to use items that have sentimental value to them as a means of telling a story. These items can be photographs, books, or any other mementos that hold significant meaning. “Beyond basic photo techniques of light, shadow, and composition, the underlying theme of the Inner Lives project is to represent patients’ memories, imaginations, and aspirations,” said Miner.
After having completed his first tenure as Providence Care’s artist-in-residence Miner said that “the most valuable gift I received from patients and the Providence Care community is to recognize, appreciate, and utilize what is in our lives, not what is lost, or what we wish for.” While Miner has a wealth of skills and knowledge that he wanted to continue to share with patients and clients when he returned to Providence Care Hospital, he also knew that they had more to teach him in return.
Miner’s Inner Lives project is funded as part of the Artists in Communities and Schools Project through the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). To learn more about the project grant visit http://www.arts.on.ca/grants/artists-in-communities-and-schools-projects.