The New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

The Healing Power of Nature and Art

At the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, we are designing indoor and outdoor spaces with art that inspires the human spirit and promotes health and wellness.

Why Art?

Art creates centers of peace and relaxation for many in a hospital setting. In the last two decades, a growing body of research has focused on the relationship between patient healing and artistic expression. Leading public and private healthcare organizations have recognized the benefits of incorporating the visual arts into healthcare environments.

Arts in healthcare programs and creative arts therapies have been used for a vast array of health conditions over the years — post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, mental health issues, chronic illnesses, neurological disorders, and brain injuries — to improve patients’ overall outcomes, treatment and quality of life. The arts are not merely decoration in healthcare settings, but complementary therapy with specific goals.

The goal of the Healing Arts and Restorative Garden Program is to enhance the healthcare experience by installing carefully selected artwork throughout the hospital and creating outdoor tranquility to facilitate the healing process. Throughout the new hospital, individuals in need of respite—including patients, families, physicians, staff and volunteers—will be inspired and comforted by artwork evoking messages of hope and healing.

"West of Butterfly"
by Karen Fedderson

How you can help >

Frequently asked questions >

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"Elwood Coast" by Tom Dewalt

Vision for Healing Arts at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

The Healing Arts and Restorative Garden Program will bring the joy and comfort of 285 pieces of art, in various media, and various outdoor features to the new hospital. Artists from throughout the Central Coast have been selected to create art that typifies our region, our heritage, our culture and our aspirations.

Central Coast Artists

A thoughtful process for selecting the artwork will create the added benefit of promoting the arts of our unique region, celebrating its beauty and diversity. A call to artists was issued, to artists residing in the area bordered by San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Bakersfield, seeking submissions for a variety of artwork to be approved and considered for future purchase. Selected artists have been commissioned and their artwork will be installed in the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

Artwork Themes

Artwork will promote health and wellness, and convey a spirit of optimism, hope and healing. Subject matter will include Goleta’s rich agricultural history, innovation and the hospital’s association with UCSB. Similar to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, each wing of the hospital will have a specific theme, often focusing on nature and our oceans resources.

A Tranquil, Restorative Garden

The plan to create a Restorative Garden honors a tradition of compassionate, patient-centered care at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. Celebrating the sights and sounds of the outdoors and the unique beauty of the Central Coast, this garden space will complement the architecture of the new hospital and its thoughtfully placed art. Covering more than a third-acre, the Restorative Garden will create a tranquil environment that promotes healing and recovery for patients, families and caregivers.

At the formal gateway to the Restorative Garden will welcome visitors for reflection and respite. A winding loop path will meander through the garden. Sculptures by local artists and native sandstone boulders will accent the landscape.

The orientation of the garden will provide visitors shelter from breezes while showcasing mountain views in the distance. Sculpted hedges and stone walls will curve and overlap to screen the view of the parking area and provide a sound barrier. Deciduous shade trees will combine with a variety of colorful plantings to provide interest throughout the seasons, and plaques throughout the garden will identify plants and their historical uses in healing. To make the garden safer for patients with compromised immune systems, plants with low allergenic impact will be selected.

Special attention will be given to accessibility, to accommodate both patients and visitors. The wide pathway through the garden will have a continuous handrail and a smooth surface for ease of access by wheeled medical equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.). In addition to small benches placed throughout the garden, the garden path will provide access to semi-private gathering areas, offering seating to accommodate small groups of 4–12. Here families, caregivers, staff and volunteers will have a peaceful place for restoration and reflection.

For those who spend time within the garden’s perimeters, the experience may reflect the abiding partnership of nature and state-of-the- art medicine in the work of healing and recovery.

How you can help

The Healing Arts and Restorative Garden Program is expected to be completed in 2015, with 285 pieces of artwork strategically located throughout the new hospital under construction and multiple pieces of outdoor art. The current budget is $550,000 which includes the cost of art, frames, wall backing, reinforcement, consulting, procurement, and installation, plus $600,000 for the Restorative Garden.

Support the Healing Arts

Donate Online

The clinical and administrative professionals at GVCH believe that this holistic component of patient care is so important that it deserves an important place in the hospital’s funding priorities. Philanthropic support will be essential to helping the hospital implement the Healing Arts program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Healing Arts and Restorative Garden Program fit with the building of the hospital?

The hospital is designed using an evidence-based methodology to incorporate architectural and healing arts elements that best promote recovery and well being. The new hospital will include features specifically aimed at reducing stress, such as rooms that allow family members to stay over- night with loved ones. With the healing arts, research shows that art depicting oceans and nature tend to be more soothing, rather than more abstract works of art, and that evidence will be used in artwork planning.

Are you using local artists?

Yes, in fact we have requested that many of Goleta’s prominent artists submit art for consideration.

Are you using local themes? Will each wing of the hospital be different?

The new hospital will include an historical wall highlighting the Goleta Valley and the many changes that have occurred in its history.

It will also feature a ‘community wall’ with rotating art from different community organizations, allowing the community to engage in making art accessible to our patients, visitors and staff. Throughout the hospital, in patient rooms and in waiting areas, we will have many natural landscapes that convey the essence of Goleta Valley.

Why now?

The new hospital is set to open in 2015. We believe the spirit of optimism, hope and healing of the arts are important to complement the cutting edge medical technologies that will be installed in the hospital.

How can I help?

For more information contact the GVCH Foundation at 805-696-7918.