Tracy Ellyn is an internationally acclaimed artist who lives in Miami, Florida. She works in layers of 19th, 20th and 21st century techniques, often all within one piece. Her website is tracyellyn.com. Her art work has been exhibited at The Louvre, SCOPE/Art Basel, The Jewish Museum of Florida, Wynwood, and other venues around the world. She is also the founder and director of the Zen Tov Project: For Healing Through The Arts, which has partnered with Greenspoon Marder Foundation’s Community Arts Partnership (CAP), along with many other fine foundations that use the arts to save lives. I’m honored to share her article with you. ~ Renee Phillips
About The Zen Tov Project
By Tracy Ellyn
Few things speak to the power of healing like the effect of the arts on physical, emotional, mental, neurological, and spiritual health. It is precisely this outcome that inspired me to found and direct the Zen Tov Project for Healing Through the Arts.
Founded in 1996, the Zen Tov Project has provided local, national and international arts-related initiatives and experiences to help individuals, groups and communities with a variety of developmental, neurological, emotional, financial, situational, familial and cultural disadvantages.
Whether it is a natural disaster, personal trauma, children experiencing terrorist attacks in Europe or Israel, anti-bullying campaigns, dementia, foster children, or rising out of poverty to allow one’s talent to shine, The Zen Tov Project endeavors to use the creative process to heal, transform, and enhance lives.
As an empath and an artist, this is the way I have chosen to do my small part in tikkun olam, or healing of the world.
A large concentration of the Zen Tov Project at this time is the placing of my own fine art pieces in healing venues such as hospitals, medical centers, chemo rooms, surgical waiting areas, pastoral care offices, doctor offices, rehab centers, and the like. While it has been nice to have my work in galleries, private and corporate collections, it pales compared to the effect that placing my fine art has had on those in pain and in need of inspiration and healing.
Thus far, my work has been permanently placed in Cleveland Clinic, Sylvester Cancer Center, Lennar Foundation Medical Center, South Miami Hospital/Baptist Health Systems, and individual doctor offices.
In research, art in medical arenas has empirically demonstrated to provide many benefits, including and not limited to: lower heart rates; stabilize vital signs; strengthen motor and neurological skills; enhance memory; speed healing; shorten hospital stays; increase mobility; strengthen appetite; decrease symptoms; reduce anxiety; improve mood; lower the use of painkillers/tranquilizers/substances; heal trauma; reduce stress; increase joy; improve quality of life; inspire soul-searching; and alleviate the burden of chronic disease.
Indeed, when I receive letters and emails from patients standing by my work, thanking me for the joy, serenity and respite from pain, no gallery showing could compare.
You can watch a short video about the Zen Tov Project on Youtube. There is also the Zen Tov Project blog page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheZenTovProject. It allows me to share a wealth of healing arts information on all seven continents and have it go viral to more people in need than I could ever otherwise reach.
My blog includes not only my own work and Zen Tov endeavors, but also articles, videos, ideas, photographs, latest research, stories, news and inspiration regarding healing through the arts, including visual art, music, dance, theater, poetry, writing, film, design, photography, art therapy, music therapy, art history, and creativity in general.
The Zen Tov Project page is meant to inspire not only those in need of healing, but also their caretakers, families, nurses, and let us not forget the doctors themselves, lest they suffer burnout and stress from all that they do and see daily.
It is the goal of the Zen Tov Project to be there to help through the arts when it does.
Visit Tracy Ellyn’s website www.tracyellyn.com
Visit the Zen Tov Project Foundation page: www.tracyellyn.com/foundation
The Zen Tov Project is the healing arts division of The Life Quest Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To make a donation please go to: https://www.tracyellyn.com/contact