A special exhibit has opened to the public for the first time at the Trapp Projects in East Vancouver, featuring select art pieces from Vancouver General Hospital’s (VGH) renowned Art Collection which dives in and explores the intersection of art and healing.

Patrons can enjoy the works of renowned local and international artists including Andy Warhol’s Flowers II.118, Sigmund Freud’s grandson, Lucian Freud’s The Egyptian Book, whose etching is normally displayed in the Joseph & Rosalie Segal & Family Health centre, Nan Lawson Cheney’s Lumber Mill, Nelson, BC, and a moving portrait from Dr. Cyrus McEachern’s Behind the Mask series taken during the height of the pandemic, and many more.

“The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Art Collection shapes the health care journey for patients and staff alike, providing hope in times of uncertainty,” says Katherine Knowles, Art Collections Curator at VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “This exhibit displays remarkable pieces usually reserved within our hospital and health care centres, where artwork has become central to the healing experience. It helps combat the anxiety of isolation, provides solace when stress can be overwhelming, and an inspiration when needed most.”

This exhibit is made possible thanks to Dr. Ian Penn and Dr. Sandy Whitehouse Penn, who also announced the winner of the PENN IDEA Art Award to Jacob Strohan (Kwantlen Polytechnic University with his BFA in 2021)on opening night. The winning piece will be installed in the waiting rooms of the VGH Emergency Department.

“In my photographic practice, my primary intentions are to document local, contemporary landscapes that generate psychological responses in the viewer. With this proposal, my focus remains the same: I want to display a series of images in the Vancouver General Hospital that will enable the viewer to experience the quiet stillness that encompasses the familiar and the quintessential BC landscapes depicted,” says Jacob.

The PENN IDEA Art Award is a celebration of emerging artists, building visibility and support by providing a platform for artistic experimentation and critical discourse around the intersection of art and healing.

Congratulations to finalists Roxanne Charles (SFU, MFA 2021) and Svava Tergesen (ECUAD, BFA 2020) who are also included in the exhibition along with select works from previous IDEA Art Award winners.


Exhibit Details

Show run: June 19th to July 3rd

Location: Trapp Projects, 274 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver (Entrance via alley and upstairs).

Gallery Hours: Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.

From postmodern abstractions to coastal landscapes, the waiting rooms and corridors of Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehab Centre are home to a collection of more than 2,400 works of art showcasing stunning works by some of Canada’s most acclaimed modern artists.

Current research has shown the benefits of art in the healing environment to include reduced stress and faster recovery. Providing a panacea for the mind and body, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Art Collection is on the frontlines — enhancing care through the restorative power of art.


About VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is Vancouver Coastal Health‘s primary philanthropic partner, raising funds for specialized adult health services and research for all British Columbians. We partner with donors to drive innovation and sustainable health care at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and Vancouver Community Health Services.