BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN
Think about the last time you went to the doctor’s office. How did you feel? Were you nervous, anxious or tired? Next question: what was on the walls? The same boring landscape work, or something you wish you could touch, something that got you closer, that made you feel good because it engaged you and made you forget (albeit momentarily) about the anxiety you might have at your appointment, even if it’s a wellness check?
Energy changes everything. Think about it – when you watch someone who seems very nervous, you start to feel nervous for them. The same thing happens when you’re around someone who is excited and passionate about his or her work and the space around him or her – you start to feel passionate and excited for that person. Dr. Renee has embraced both this phenomenon and the connection between how we feel and what’s around us. “People feel better when they have beautiful things around them,” she said. This isn’t just her belief; this is her business and passion.
Dr. Renee is aiming for global exposure with her art that is intended to do just that. Those tired works that are over-faded and blend in to the beige walls? She wants to replace all of them with colorful, interesting works that pack a sensory and exploratory punch. Many examples of these works are on view and for sale at her gallery and gift shop, and the sensation of walking into the space that is full of color and light is incredible.
It’s exciting to imagine what a doctor visit might be like surrounded by beautiful things. Works like those found in her Healing Energy Collection – colorful arrays of fabric, some adorned with crystals, all colors from chakras in the human energy field and arranged in such a way to inspire a calming sensation. Or, maybe works from the Healing Garden Collection – her first works that incorporated medicinal herbs and plants, created to ignite conversation in her patients that were self-medicating. “Patients were taking herbs and supplements and not telling me, and these quilts were a way to get them to talk about what they were taking,” said Dr. Renee.
And, talk they did; the works put her patients at ease. When they saw some of their supplements like gingko and chamomile, they were more likely to talk about the things they were taking that might interact with their prescription medications.
Those interactive, illuminating moments led to a blossoming collection, the gallery space and new creative directions. Her motivation is simple: “Art is healing whether it’s your workplace, home or meditation area,” she said. “Greater peace, calm and relaxation also facilitates better communication between patients and healers of all types. My art emphasizes healing with the subject matter, but also fosters better healing interactions.”
Dr. Renee’s work has now expanded to glass and mixed media flowers – starting with the colors of the chakras and now expanded into other collections. These creations have been photographed to highlight the details of each flower which are a feast for the eyes. She’s currently working on a pastel collection for OB/GYN offices as well as Labor and Delivery rooms, among other exciting projects and collaborations.
Her gallery has been in its home for three years, but when we talked, she was on day seven of retirement from full time medical practice. “I’m ready to make a go of my art,” she said. And a “go” is an understatement. A visit to the gallery showcases only some of her work – the back room is full of new creations, pieces are in progress at home and artwork is on display throughout the city. Dr. Renee’s “go” is already putting her on a trajectory toward offering engaging art that is truly innovative for the City of Arts and Innovation and beyond.
Visit the Gallery and Gift Shop Wednesday-Saturday 1-5pm located at 1401 Samuel Street, Suite E in Winston-Salem. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, see more on her website at www.drreneehealingart.comor reach her by phone at 336.306.9290.