The Cancer Centre on the fifth floor of Grey Bruce Health Services Hospital in Owen Sound is now home to a new permanent installation of 14 large scale reproductions of Tom Thomson paintings. As the renovation of the fifth floor was wrapping up earlier this Spring, it soon became clear that the new walls were going to need something substantial to match the rest of the lovely renovated space.

Many studies have shown that artwork contributes to a healing environment and has a role to play in improving the healthcare experience for patients, visitors and staff. With that in mind, we approached the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound to explore ideas for bringing artwork into the new Cancer Centre.

The Gallery staff were thrilled with the opportunity, and after doing a walk through of the Cancer Centre, they secured a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce to bring reproductions of Thomson’s landscape paintings to the fifth floor. Staff, patient advisors and volunteers were involved in selecting which of Thomson’s paintings would fit within the Cancer Centre, and after several months of planning and measuring, 14 vinyl reproductions were installed in late September. Thomson is one of Canada’s most well-known artists, and given that he spent time here in his youth and worked in Owen Sound, the installation has a home-town connection.

The space looks amazing, and the response from staff, our oncologists, patients and volunteers has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. We would like to thank the Tom Thomson Art Gallery for adopting this project and bringing it to life. It was a wonderful inaugural collaboration between the Gallery and GBHS, and we look forward to more opportunities for bringing the healing benefits of art into our healthcare environment.