Have you ever gazed at a painting or a piece of art and felt a wave of calm or wellbeing wash over you? You likely are not alone. Visual art (depending on its subject matter) is not only pleasing to look at and ponder, it can also affect your mood. In fact, according to research carried out by Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist and professor of Neuroesthetics at the University College London, simply viewing art triggers pleasant sensations that are akin to those of falling in love. (Zeki has even said that “the artist is in a sense, a neuroscientist, exploring the potentials and capacities of the brain, though with different tools.”)
Art and wellbeing go hand in hand. It’s little wonder then that a local business and an artist, both of whom focus on wellness, would come together in a spirit of collaboration.
In January, long-time business Winterholme made the transition from a heritage inn with bed and breakfast suites, to a wellness, spa and events centre. Since then, the business has been using their wellness focus to help support local arts in unique ways.
“We just started an initiative with MusicNL for their members to come in for registered massage therapy or acupuncture treatments on a contra/pay-what-you-can basis. It’s important for those in repetitive motion industries to take care of themselves so they don’t cut their ability short from injury. Hopefully in time we can create other similar partnerships,” says Lisa Cook, owner of Winterholme.
Earlier this month, the business partnered with artist member Dominique Hurley (whose “intuitive energy-based paintings and photographs help people to connect to their true selves”) for a presentation, art show and open house. Hurley’s work will be exhibited in Winterholme’s service rooms and reception areas until July 30.
“My art has attracted healers and those on a spiritual growth path since the late ’80s. Exhibiting in life-enhancing venues like wellness fairs, yoga studios, health food shops, body, mind and spirit retreats, etc. is a natural fit,” says Hurley.
Cook agrees. “Dominique got in touch with us with this unique idea and we were very happy to participate. She has beautiful, creative artwork with a wellness vibe, which suits our new business structure well,” she says.
“We are all about local supporting local and the arts.”
The art show and open house not only exposed visitors to Hurley’s work, but also gave them the chance to soak in the beauty of the 109-year-old Queen Anne heritage structure. In addition to providing a beautiful display for Winterholme’s walls, Cook says the event brought people into Winterholme “who may never have had a reason to come inside before…it’s a great blend of cross-promotion.”
The event, Cook adds, was a first for Winterholme and she hopes it won’t be the last.
“With this business change we want to put a big focus back on hosting events of all types…We’re happy Dominique came to us with this idea, and are interested in doing more,” she says.
“There’s an incredible amount of talent in Newfoundland. Local needs to support local and show each other off! There’s so many rewards to reap when we work together.”