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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 15th, 2018



    “Artists put an image in their head and they take that image out of their head and they put it on something and they tell a story and they extend an emotion and in their stories and in their emotions, we get joy.”

                                                    Ronke Ekwensi – a collector of Nigerian art

    This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend the opening reception of the exhibition titled – SISTERS, the Art of Nigerian Women. I spent time walking through the gallery space looking at the art. I was blown away by the works that were displayed.

    As I glanced at the work, I began to create my own stories. There was the acrylic on canvas titled –‘Three is a Crowd’.  There is a man hugging a woman who is dressed in white who I have assumed is his wife and there is another woman behind him dressed in red.  In some ways I felt sorry for the other woman because I knew he would never leave his wife. There was an oil on canvas titled ‘Study, Study, Study’. In this picture a mother is carrying a child and a book is open. Education is so important in one’s life. My favorite was used to market the event – ‘The Pageant’. For me, it represented how beauty comes in all shapes and sizes- we should not be afraid to be ourselves. There were many more works with stories that you could create.

    There are health benefits to going to a gallery or museum to view art. When you are looking at art, your brain is processing the images. You are creating stories in your head.  There is an increase in blood flow to your brain. Brain activity increases which is good for building new connections within our brain which helps the brain function better. Art is also good for decreasing stress and anxiety.  Art has been shown to normalize the heart rate, the blood pressure and the stress hormone, cortisol. The joy art brings is positive for your well-being.

    If you have a chance to go to your local museum or a gallery, please do. It will have a positive impact to your health.  If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area, the exhibition runs until June 29, 2018 at the Columbus Metropolitan Library at the Carnegie Gallery located on the 2nd floor.


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