Art & Healing

All Programs

Art & Healing

Innovation & Technology


Healthcare facilities are not often thought of as places to display and view art. But a number of peer-reviewed studies show that in a healthcare setting art has benefits to patients, including:

• Lower levels of stress
• Lower use of pain medications
• Reduced lengths of stay
• Improved sleep patterns
• Lower rates of secondary infections
• Higher overall satisfaction levels

“Besides all of the research, art is peaceful and gives you something to think about other than the fact you’re at the hospital,” says Karen Stewart, the former executive director of the Art Association of Jackson Hole and a volunteer member of St. John’s Art & Healing committee.

In 2013, after an external review of its art policy by local nonprofit Jackson Hole Public Art, St. John’s adopted the healing arts criteria set forth by the Cleveland Clinic, a leader in understanding and promoting the healing benefits of art in health care settings. At the time of the review, “We had some art on the walls that depicted the very real Western and rural environment we live in, which can be harsh and rugged,” says Blair Christy, St. John’s Director of Patient Experience and Art & Healing Program Administrator. “After learning about how art can reduce patients’ stress and length of stay, among other things, we took a deep dive into what was on the walls and worked very hard to align our art collection to the criteria for art in healing spaces.”

Following the recommendations of this review, St. John’s officially established an Art & Healing Program, which would be guided by the all-volunteer Art & Healing Committee. The committee is comprised of volunteers who are local art professionals.

“It is exiting to know that our community health center is using art to improve the experience of its patients,” says Carrie Geraci, a founding member of Art & Healing Committee and the executive director of Jackson Hole Public Art. “The recommendations made all those years ago could have sat on a shelf, but St. John’s owned them and has done a great job implementing them.”

Five years after the Art & Healing Program’s founding, St. John’s has a permanent collection with about 400 artworks. It also partners with local arts organizations like the Center for the Arts, the Art Association of Jackson Hole, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art to bring a diversity of temporary artworks to the main medical center and the adjacent professional office building. Because of the Art & Healing Program, and support for it from the St. John’s Health Foundation the under-construction Sage Living skilled nursing and long-term care complex has a budget for art. “It is amazing that in such a short period of time, St. John’s has come so far with its Art & Healing Program,” Geraci says.

Patients and their families notice the art at St. John’s. The father of Art & Healing committee member Karen Stewart lived in the Living Center for a couple of years. Stewart would visit and “wheel him over to the hospital in his wheelchair and we would go down the hallways and look at the artwork,” she says. “There was something new for him to look at almost every time we went to the hospital. He loved it and looked forward to it.” Parents use artwork to distract kids on the way to an appointment with the pediatrician. Nurses in the oncology department say they get repeated positive comments about the Amy Ringholz painting that hangs at one end of the row of chairs patients often sit in to get chemotherapy infusions. “The art really makes a difference for people,” Geraci says. “Not all hospitals would care so much.”

"Healing Art has certain attributes in color and composition that make it calming and not jarring. It can be thought-provoking in a positive way."

volunteer Art & Healing committee member, artist, and current executive director of the Art Association of Jackson Hole, Bronwyn Minton

Integrated Art at the Living Center

Music Therapy Program

Music has been proven to reduce anxiety and pain—especially in elderly or terminally ill populations—and has a powerful and well-researched effect on the brain, the mood, and on quality of life. The inaugural year was incredibly successful with the music therapist developing a program for each resident of The Living Center. Music therapy uses musical efforts for non-musical ends; for example, learning to play an instrument can help improve range of motion and singing can be helpful in vocalization. Residents can also join one of three choirs to increase social interaction and reduce isolation.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide recently shadowed Hilary Camino, the Music Therapist, for a multi-media story. Read more here! And watch the video here!

KHOL 89.1 also featured Hilary on the air. Listen here!

"When my daughter sings for my mother, it is like my mother wakes up. Her face lights up and she is suddenly totally present, even if she doesn’t—or can’t—say anything."

daughter of a Living Center resident

Legacy Series

The Legacy Series is a compilation of five songs created during music therapy interventions with various residents at St. John’s Living Center. Songs were created in individual and group settings facilitated by Hilary Camino MSc, MT-BC (Board Certified Music Therapist).

Therapeutic songwriting is used in the long-term care setting as a music therapy technique to accomplish treatment goals and objectives as defined by the music therapist and treatment team. Therapeutic songwriting is defined as ‘The process of creating, notating, and/or recording lyrics and music by the client or clients and the therapist within a therapeutic relationship to address psychosocial, emotional, cognitive and communication needs of the client’ (Baker & Wigram, 2005, p. 16).

The songs in this series were collected from three individuals and one group. Each songwriting process was implemented differently to address areas depending on resident preference, need, and ability. Through songwriting, residents have the opportunity to explore and express their emotions, develop or redevelop a range of cognitive skills, address relationship issues, focus on coping strategies, construct a sense of self and identity, rehearse social skills, and engage in life review (Baker et al., 2008).

When people enter a long-term care facility, they may experience feelings of loss of independence, altered sense of self, lack of motivation and sense of fulfillment due to a significant change in their lifestyle. These feelings can lead to depression and other psychosocial challenges. Trials indicate that songwriting can positively impact self-concept and significantly reduce depressive symptoms (Baker et al., 2015).

“An important aim of the songwriting process is to create opportunities for songwriters to experience mastery, self-esteem, and self- confidence. As they create their own songs they receive internal and external feedback about their capacity as a songwriter, and derive pride from completing an artistic work. Some songwriters gain confidence and feel empowered to have a voice; others may acquire insight into their self-worth. Catharsis may be experienced as songwriters project their emotions onto the lyrics and music, and this emotional release may reoccur when their songs are replayed either live or through a recording. The songwriting process enables internal feelings and emotions to be externalized and then processed at a cognitive level.” (Baker, 2015).

The intent of displaying the Legacy Series is to satisfy the need for residents to share their work as living artifacts, extending their therapeutic experience to involve their friends, family, and community. “When song creations are recorded or performed to the wider community, songwriters are communicating their experiences of marginalization, disability, adversity, and trauma” (Baker, 2015). Hearing these songs can transform the audience’s perspectives and beliefs about people from these marginalized groups (Baker, 2013) and may increase pro-social behavior (Greitemeyer, 2009).

All songs displayed convey each resident’s unique musical taste and a deeper understanding of their thoughts and insights into their momentous lives. The music therapist implemented various therapeutic songwriting models and techniques suited for each individual resident and situation. The role of the music therapist is to guide residents through their thoughts and memories to encourage form, brevity, and consistency to develop a song. The music therapist facilitates the musical styles and lyrical organization to depict a song that serves the process and the vision of the resident.

*All residents who participated gave their permission to release a description of their therapeutic process, recordings of their song(s) with their voices/instrumental work, and permission to use their quoted thoughts for this series.


Baker, F. A. (2013). The ongoing life of participant-composed songs within and beyond the clinical setting. Musicae Sientiae, 17(1), 40-56. doi:10.1177/1029864912471674 Baker, F.A. (2015). Therapeutic songwriting: Developments in theory, methods, and practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Baker, F.A., Rickard, N., Tamplin, J., & Roddy, C. (2015). Flow and meaningfulness as mechanisms of change in self-concept and wellbeing following a songwriting intervention for people in the early phase of neurorehabilitation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 299. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00299. Baker, F.A., Wigram, T. (Eds.). (2005). Songwriting: Methods, techniques and clinical applications for music therapy clinicians, educators and students. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Baker, F.A., Wigram, T., Stott, D., & McFerran, K. (2008). Therapeutic songwriting in music therapy: Part 1. Who are the therapists, who are the clients, and why is songwriting used? Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 17(2), 105-123. Greitemeyer, T. (2009). Effects of songs with prosocial lyrics on prosocial thoughts, affect, and behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Phsychology, 45, 186-190.

Songs (to listen click each link)

A Life of Meaning

Lois’ Song

Youth on the Plains

Get Ready to Get Living

Betty Joe

"Some hospitals have collections with works by artists including Diebenkorn and Calder, and that is impressive. But, considering our region and how artistic our community is, we can have an impressive collection of local and regional artists. The art reinforces St. John’s commitment to the community."

Karen Stewart, the former executive director of the Art Association of Jackson Hole and a volunteer member of St. John’s Art & Healing committee.

"Special Thanks to the Wyoming Arts Council for their generous support of the Art & Healing Program"

Partnership with the Center for the Arts

The Art & Healing Partnership between St. John’s Health Foundation, St. John’s Office of Patient Experience, and the Center for the Arts is now in its fourth year. The effort has evolved to include a broad audience and different artists. Artworks for Art & Healing are selected jointly by the St. John’s Art Committee and The Center and reflect evidence-based best practices around art for healing spaces. Select work from the Center’s call for artists are invited to exhibit within St. John’s facilities, showcasing both the artists’ work as well as the ways in which art can contribute to a healing environment.

"St. John's is grateful for the collaboration with the Center - we are honored to provide an artful and positive experience to patients, their families, and visitors at the medical center."

Rachel Merrell-Director of Development at St. John's Health Foundation

Partnership with Jackson Hole Public Art

Jackson Hole Public Art developed a new mission, vision and policies to promote health and healing through the Hospital’s art collection based on national standards and evidenced based criteria. The resulting Health and Healing programs support excellence in the collection, provide education about the artwork, and promote community engagement in ways that benefit patients, visitors and the staff.

Permanent Collection

The arts are integral to improved health and well-being. As part of the Art & Healing Program, St. John’s Office of Patient Experience and St. John’s Health Foundation maintain a permanent collection, on display in St. John’s Medical Center. A selected group of these artworks is available to view in our online gallery.

Adam Wolpert

Employing a range of techniques and motifs, Adam’s work reflects a lifelong engagement with Nature.  The Pond Series is a new acquisition to the St. John’s Art & Healing Program thanks to a generous gift from Agnes Bourne.

Kathryn Turner

The artwork of Kathryn Mapes Turner has unfolded from the mountain valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As a daughter of the Northern Rockies, she was born as the fourth generation and raised on the Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park. She grew up riding the trails of the valley, learning wilderness lore and gaining an eye for landscape. She spent an influential semester in Rome, Italy and then studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. She next earned a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia. Having been passionate about painting since childhood, Turner is now an award winning artist nationally recognized with top honors from the American Impressionist Society, Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition and the National Academy of Equine Art.

Pamela Gibson

Pamela Gibson has been exploring the Western landscape through her art for more than 30 years. She holds a BFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows in Wyoming, Oregon, Colorado and Washington. She has completed public commissions, including signature pieces for the Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Women’s Health and the St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson Hole. Her work hangs in many private collections in the Western United States.

Bronwyn Minton

Bronwyn Minton is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator. Minton holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Minton is the Director of Exhibits and Programs at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, a practicing artist and an independent curator. Minton’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, and is in public and private collections. Minton’s process involves experimentation with ideas, method and media, leading to final works. In the past, this has included drawing, photography, sculpture, printmaking and interactive installations. Her questions stem from unique perspectives, including classic children’s literature, ancient mythology, and rigorous scientific observation. She uses simple forms derived from nature as a starting point, often exploiting radically different scale, from the microscopic to the monumental.

Scotty Craighead

Scotty Craighead was raised in Kelly Wyoming, and has lived in Teton County for the last 21 years. He has always had a close relationship with nature and western landscapes. When he was younger he enjoyed camping and trips into nature with his family. Scotty attended Colorado College where he received his BA in Studio Art. Since graduating he has shown his art at local venues including Daly Projects gallery, Teton Artlab, and Center for the Arts. He has also taught at Jackson Hole Community School and Jackson Hole High School.

Chuck Schneebeck

Part of my early childhood was spent on our family farm in Colorado Springs.  That is where I developed my love of nature.  In the summer, I would explore the riparian area of our farm enjoying the natural treasures.  I waded in the wetlands, caught snakes and frogs.  Got leeches on my legs and found bird nests.  I especially liked the birds.  I didn’t have a bird book or binoculars, but I knew most of the common species without knowing their species names. In college, I took the opportunity to learn more about the natural world.  I studied biology and chemistry and a minor in geology.  I even had an opportunity to take an ornithology course complete with a bird identification book and a pair of binoculars.  My undergraduate work was geared toward ecology and gave me an opportunity to look at nature as a system.  My graduate work was weighted toward cell molecular biology.  My career was in education.  I taught chemistry and biology in high school and biology in college.  My last sixteen years were spent as a college administrator.  In 2000, I retired and moved to Jackson Hole.  Over the years, I have climbed all of the fourteen thousand-foot peaks in Colorado, climbed in the Wind River Range, the Tetons, in California and Alaska.  My biology background and time spent in the out-of-doors have a significant impact on the way I do my photography.  Now I am able to travel extensively and draw on what I have learned of the natural world and apply it to my artistic endeavor

Glenn Sturm

I started taking pictures as a young boy when my father, who was an Army officer, took us on family trips to Paris. When I got in the car, knowing how much I loved pictures, my parents gave me a present, an inexpensive camera. I was the highlight of my trip as well as the remaining time I lived in Germany with my family. As a result of this insightful gift, I have carried cameras with me around the world. I am routinely asked my my pack is so big or so heavy. The reason is simply, I am afraid I will miss a picture. I have been blessed during my life to see so many images that I thought were memorable or have remained special in my heart. I believe that I am privileged by seeing and capturing those images that have resonated with me. My photos are a combination of landscapes, wildlife, and my family.  Glenn is in his 9th year of continuous chemotherapy. He often describes photography as an essential part of his cancer treatment. Photography brings Glenn great joy and an escape from being a patient. Giving back is a big part of who Glenn is, and it is with enthusiasm that he supports our community hospital. St. John’s Health Foundation is deeply grateful to Glenn for his extraordinary gift of art.

John James Audubon

In a community collaboration to share artwork, the National Museum of Wildlife Art has loaned 12 John James Audubon prints to the Art & Healing Program. As part of the collaboration, the Foundation funded the framing of the educational prints now on display. A few of the bird species represented include: Wild Turkey, Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl, and the Purple Finch.  The Museum has 48 original Audubon artworks in its Permanent Collection. Of those, 12 were done by John’s son, John Woodhouse Audubon, who took up depicting animals, mostly mammals, in the same iconic style as his father.

Thomas R. Knauss

Born December 19, 1944, at the age of 10 Tom began his career learning large format film photography and darkroom printing at his family operated photo business in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduation from high school at the age of 17, Tom moved to Chicago where he entered electrical engineering and broadcast communications school.

Tom continued to live in Chicago for the next 46 years working in the broadcast media, the music industry, large venue concert sound, recording studios and showcase entertainment night spots. Throughout those 46 years, Tom continued photography as a serious hobby. Sometimes taking on small jobs for side money, Tom continued to teach himself the new photo technologies as they came along.

In 2007 Tom made a deliberate decision to enter the photography industry full time. It was during 2008 that Tom made a permanent move to Jackson, Wyoming. Tom had been a part time resident of Jackson since the mid 70’s and decided this was the place to be.

In 2010 Tom created what is now known as the Jackson Hole Photography Studio. From that location Tom provides portrait, commercial, retail and workshop services as well as spending hundreds of hours in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks photographing the landscapes and wildlife. Tom is permitted by both parks where he conducts in-field workshops.

"I wanted to share a little story regarding the art we have hanging in the hallways. I recently worked on PCU caring for patients due to high census, high COVID cases and staff shortages. One afternoon, I was caring for a swing patient with very limited mobility. It was mid afternoon and he was restless and anxious about his future. I talked him into getting in a wheelchair and we first went outside around campus and stopped by the elk out front. Then we wandered around the corridors inside and looked at all the paintings hanging in the hallways and talked about our favorites, the wildlife and scenery and whether we preferred abstract or realistic, oil or water color, etc. For a good half hour, this patient enjoyed something different than his room, saw beautiful displays and had a smile on his face, albeit under a mask! Thank you for this project. It makes a difference!"

Susan Freeze, St. John's Health RN

Rotating Exhibits

Tamara Ashburn King

Born in Jackson Hole, Tamara is a 4th generation Wyoming artist. She’s an impressionist painter, working nearly every day in her 100-year old barn, Little Dipper Art Studio in Jackson Hole. Tamara has a deep connection with Wyoming and the old ways of being in the mountains. Her freeness pulses on the canvas with a mastery of color, movement, and light that allows the viewer to dream into her art.

“Painting makes me feel like I’m in a dance with my art. It’s alive. All my ancestors and life and energy flowing onto the canvas.” Tamara is inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, Joan Mitchell, Nicolai Fechin, Gerhardt Richter, Tom Gilleon, and Neltje, to name a few.

She was taught the workings of nature, mountain weather, and herbal remedies by her parents—avid naturalists with whom she spent summers camping on horseback through Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho. In the fall, her family kept a wilderness camp in the backcountry of Mount Moran, living the American Mountain Man tradition. Her family has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, Backwoodsman Magazine, and Museum of the Mountain Man.

Tamara has taken drawing and painting classes from The Contemporary Austin Art School, The National Wildlife Museum, Central Wyoming College, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, and studied under various successful artists. Her mother was an award winning artist at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, recognized for her landscapes and portraits.

Tamara paints in acrylics, oils, and mixed media —expressing the freedom of the American West. She is a self-represented artist and has both foundational and private collectors from around the country. Current exhibitions are at the Bank of Jackson Hole, St. John’s Health, and Little Dipper Art Studio in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. All inquiries can be sent to Tamara via email at

Boughton Walden

The images that I paint are meant to be statement pieces. A bold, bright adaptation of a single subject. The theme of my work stays relatively in the realm of my life in the west and my travels throughout the world. My style can best be described as modern western portraiture with a pixelated twist, an influence stemming from my work in, and studies of, graphic design. I have been a resident Jackson Hole for ten years, and fell privileged to display my work for the community to enjoy.

Pieces are available for sale by contacting the artist directly. More art and information can be found at

Current Exhibits in the St. John’s Professional Office Building

Images from the Sun & Moon to Deep Space —Michael Adler

Since retiring, Mike has been pursuing his hobbies of astronomy and photography as well as traveling with his wife Virginia. In 2014, he built an observatory at his Wilson home that houses 20”, 12.5”, and 6” telescopes. In 2013, his astrophotography was featured as the inaugural exhibit at the Teton County Library, where he had additional exhibits in 2015 and 2017.  Michael donated 18 astrophotography images printed on aluminum to St. John’s permanent collection.  These vary from half second images of the sun during last August’s eclipse to images of deep space nebulas and galaxies as far as 2.5 million light years away which took 40 hours to complete.

Ashley Gotts

Ashley Gotts, 35, is a special young lady who works with challenges every day. Ashley was born with hydrocephalus and shunted at two weeks followed by brain surgery at four weeks leaving her visually and developmentally disabled along with a mild left paralysis. With early intervention, hard work and much nurturing from many people, she has been able to have a very full life.

Her love of art started in high school. Lucky enough to have a very dedicated art teacher and giving aid by her side, they both peaked her interest and expected results from her……fast forward to present. Ashley now has her own Print shop and painting mico business through the Community Link’s program, and also paints at home. Her love of painting has continued with much success. Ashley loves working with acrylic paints and using her special techniques’ Ashley’s ability to see the better things in life instead of the negatives helps her to show her love of colors and happiness through her art.

Ashley’s work is on display in collaboration with the St. John’s Art and Healing Program and St. John’s Health Foundation. The exhibit is installed in the professional office building until fall of 2020. Pieces will be available for purchase by contacting the artist directly at or by calling 989-550-2039. Information can also be found with the exhibit.

Linda Young

Growing up Linda spent many a summer in the Sierra Nevada Mountains camping, fishing, hiking, and drawing… These summers lead to a great love for the outdoors and nature. Later… a degree in biology and natural resources gave her another view of the natural world through the eyes of science. Linda eventually became a ranger/naturalist in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. This allowed her the privilege to both teach and show to others the beauty and vast natural diversity of “wild” areas that more than ever need our protection. As years moved forward she realized that there was another way of communicating her love of nature through her other passion… art.

“I still keep drawing, but I have come to feel the need to express myself with more dynamic, bolder and more colorful images in paintings. I want my paintings to “wake” the viewer up a bit and perhaps elicit an emotional response from the image whether a smile, laughter, or simply a memory. Through my art I hope to in some way give a voice to the voiceless in our natural world.” – Linda Young

Susan Durfee 

In your search for answers – approach with an open heart, eyes, and mind.  You may be blessed with answers. Truth is the fruit of knowledge.

Search, a mixed media piece by Susan Durfee, specifically depicts the journey towards healing.  In this piece created with threads, paint, and pastel, the center of a figurative silhouette features a carefully drawn plant from roots to the uppermost leaves.  The work invites the viewer to consider the peaceful growth that can begin within as one starts to heal.

Susan Durfee studied art through concentrated studies at California College of Arts and Crafts and University of Washington in Seattle, and received a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art and Art History from Connecticut College. During over 30 years living in Western Wyoming, She  has been awarded art residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Ucross Foundation. In 2013 she received the Wyoming Arts Fellowship award, with an honorable mention in 2004.

Durfee says, “Painting and completing a piece of art brings me joy and engages me in a way similar to the joy and peace I get while listening to music.”

Born in Subic Bay, Phillpiine Islands, Durfee was primarily raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she attended the Carnegie Mellon Institute’s Tam O’Shanter art education program every Saturday morning 4th grade through graduating high school. That excellent educational art exposure continues to inspire her to be involved in education through teaching art and in her position as the Director of the Central Wyoming College Jackson Center. She has exhibited throughout the Mountain State region; her work is in collections of St. John’s Health and many private collections.

Joseph Cipro

Joseph Cipro’s painting Recombinant Particles is a view of the physical universe encompassing the totality of matter from the subatomic to the stellar. It is a provocation to consider the intimate relationship within the universe. We are stardust. Contemplating the oneness of the everything can tender great comfort, unifying the scientific with the spiritual, taking us out of ourselves, and offering psychic healing.

Joseph Cipro graduated from Rhode Island School of Design as a European Honors Student in 1971 after a year of study in Rome and travel throughout Europe. He has painted in over ten countries on three continents, and his work resides in collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has exhibited in competitions, juried shows, galleries, private homes, and commercial venues.

Cipro was born In Worcester, Massachusetts, and settled in the American W`est after relocating from Italy to Jackson, Wyoming in 1974. He lived and painted in New Mexico and Utah before returning to Wyoming, currently residing in Alpine with his wife Susan Durfee.

Kenneth Ober

Kenneth Houghton Ober was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 22, 1972. Kenneth’s creative abilities began to surface in elementary school and had become his focus by high school. Through the guidance of an excellent teacher, he was encouraged to explore all forms of media, and was instilled with the means to invoke his imagination.

Kenneth studied Art, Art History, and Literature at the University of Maryland for two years. The art, religions, and cultures of Asia served as an introduction to Buddhist philosophy, which led him to Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

The desire to connect with a larger art world brought Kenneth to California, where he graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in 2001. Since then, he has lived and worked as an independent, professional artist in Los Angeles. His current series of paintings, made with an automobile pin-striping tool, have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Olivia Logan

18 year old Olivia Logan is a local artist who created this art collection as a senior thesis at Jackson Hole Community School. Olivia was raised in a very artistic family and has been making art since she was young. She is very passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and enjoys educating other through her artwork. She is currently based out of New York as she pursues her love for STEM at Union College.

Stay Connected

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.