Thursday, Panel 1, 201 GRAUBALLEMANDEN 10:30 - 13:00


All presentations in this panel:

  • Healing children is also a bit of art, Sofie Vermeiren, M Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Case study - The Atelier, Monika Holzer-Kernbichler, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
  • Radio Bart - Look differently and see more with Radio Bart, Carmen Willems, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Enjoyment playing Barbie dolls at the Science and Technology Museum, Ana Daldon, Technisches Museum Wien, Wien, Austria
  • Museums and Dementia – Dementia friendly City and Culture, Linn Wittendorff, Aarhus Municipality, Denmark

Healing children is also a bit of art

Sofie Vermeiren

M Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Keywords: Wellbeing and enjoyment, Power of art and creativity, Sustainability, Strong partnership                        

"Healing children is also a bit of art". These words were written by Art, a ten-year-old boy afflicted with a persistent rheumatic disease. This moving statement expressed a long-standing awareness that healing requires more than excellent medical and paramedical care. It is therefore not surprising that M Leuven and UZ Leuven have joined forces. The role that art, creativity and enjoyment can play in a hospital and in the healing process of children is significant. In 2013, this led to the establishment of the Art for Children's Hospital Fund at KU Leuven University Hospital. The idea was to develop a sustainable art project together. With the arrival of the new children's hospital, a place was created where the children could relax and develop their creativity. The aim of this “Muse Room” is to allow the patients to escape from the harsh everyday reality for a while. The offer ranges from thematic exhibitions to meetings with artists and visual workshops. It is here, too, that M makes its contribution.  The patients in the children's hospital may not be able to come to M Leuven, but we want to give them the opportunity to experience exhibitions. Based on themes and M's collection pieces, we bring exhibitions to the Children's Hospital Muse Room. Small exhibitions that run for about three months, include print versions of some of the works of art from M's collection. It is not the real thing that is hanging or standing there, but it does give you an idea. Current themes, such as the seasons, are discussed. And for these exhibitions, search games and assignments are made so that the young patients and their families can experience art in a creative way. We also organize workshops in this exhibition for the patients and their families.  During this lecture, we would like to share with the audience our experiences of this project, in which wellbeing, enjoyment, art and creativity go hand in hand.

Presentation Sofie Vermeiren

Case study - The Atelier

Monika Holzer-Kernbichler

Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria

Keywords: Health, Art therapy, Art Education, Wellbeing, Selfcare

Project in cooperation with the art therapy department of LKH 2, location South. The connection between art therapy and art education began with the idea of founding a "Living Museum" in Graz. After many years of organizing creative projects for children, young people and adults in the education department of “New Gallery Graz”, we started the pilot project DAS ATELIER in 2018. Together with our partner, the art therapists of the LKH 2, providing long experience in clinical art therapy, we created a safe space for creative development outside of the hospital environment. The art education department of the “New Gallery Graz” seemed to be the perfect location for the project.

Now, once a week, the studio becomes a location for DAS ATELIER – representing a physical and psychological space for stability as well as freedom, creativity and diverse impulses. DAS ATELIER creates a space for art-interested adults who suffered from mental illness. After they have been released from psychiatric treatment, they can express themselves in visually creating art with different materials. In that way we give them the opportunity to stay in touch with a community as well. The location in a public museum is a central aspect of the project, putting the focus on the artistic process, rather than focusing on illness or weakness. Including the exhibition, the visual work can be experienced from both sides: the actual artwork and own interpretations or personal expression in the studio. The process is professionally accompanied by art therapists and mediators. Over a longer period that combination triggers the participants to develop creatively by being in touch with art on a regular basis and at the same time building relationships within the group.

"...and I am glad that it is not a hospital, not a therapy room, but simply a studio." (THE ATELIER participant)

Further information in German:

Presentation Monika Holzer-Kernbichler


Radio Bart - Look differently and see more with Radio Bart

Veerle De Meester

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium


Keywords: look differently and see more, dialogue and interaction, visually impaired and blind, socially relevant, innovative

Radio Bart - Look differently and see more with Radio Bart. The KMSKA wants to give every visitor a warm and stimulating museum experience. We amaze, enrich and connect across generations and cultures. Starting from everyone's individuality, we provide tools to experience the collection and make the visit personally relevant.  Bart Van Peer has worked at the KMSKA since 1992. As a visually impaired operator, he manned the reception desk. Bart slowly became blind but did not sit still: he presents at a local radio station and recites poetry. After Bart became completely blind it was necessary to revise his job description. That is how Radio Bart was born. A blind or visually impaired presenter takes place in a mobile studio in one of our museum rooms. The host starts a dialogue with the visitor. He asks stimulating questions and guides the visitor in looking at a work of art. This creates a different way of looking and seeing. How do you describe a brushstroke or color to someone who cannot see?  Radio Bart gives the museum visit an extra dimension: looking at a work of art together with a blind person. At the end of the interaction, the visitor is left with a good feeling. The project is innovative because the blind and visually impaired form a bridge between the visitor and the fine arts collection. The presenters are fully-fledged mediators. Blind or visually impaired people are not approached because of their disability but based on their special talent: the talent to make 'a sighted person' see better.   Radio Bart reaches several types of visitors: those who enter a dialogue with Bart, the listener in the room, the art lover and the layman.  Radio Bart has given a new, valuable turn to Bart's professional career. The museum wants to make the project sustainable. Other blind and visually impaired people will be trained as presenters. This makes Radio Bart a socially relevant and experimental project with enormous growth potential.

Presentation Carmen Willems


Enjoyment playing Barbie dolls at the Science and Technology Museum

Ana Daldon

Technisches Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria


Keywords: Barbie Dolls, Sexism, Standardization, Science and Technology Museum, Playing

The objects you would expect to see in the science and technology museum are right in front of you: the steam engine, airplanes, ships, the telegraph, mass production machines or, if the museum also focuses on technology used in the home, washing machines and fridges, but also a state-of-the-art technology such as a robot, we are not surprised if it greets us at the reception desk or is in some vitrine. Already seeing the toy as a technical object is less usual, but if it really is a game, then a construction game such as Lego or Matador. Or games representing technical themes such as models of power stations or atomic power stations or even models of model trains. Less usual still today are the - feminine connotations - dolls, occasionally entered to represent work, such as washerwomen or for their material or technical characteristics. Even less usual is to acquire dolls for their manifestation of today's socio-technical cultures or body canons. In this area Barbie plays an outstanding role. Working in different formats - be it exhibition or communication event, even playful ones - with certain types of Barbie dolls can promote an understanding of the society of standardization also with respect to the body, but also to sexism, and make even groups of children reflect on the unrealistic convictions. Playing with a selection of Barbies or Barbie-like Dolls, both historical and contemporary, such as Barbie Fashionista with prothesis, the Lammily-doll, the Barbie Experimentierkasten, the Barbie Inspiring Women (all in the Vienna Museum of Technology-Collection), etc., makes it possible to propose themes resulting from socio-technical studies, disability studies, fat studies, or gender studies to an audience of children and young girls, already offering an opportunity for in-depth study and reflection, and thus also protection from exposure to certain types of canons and social pressures. It is a joyful way, which can lead to individual and collective well-being.

Presentation Ana Daldon 

Museums and Dementia – Dementia friendly City and Culture

Linn Wittendorff

Aarhus Municipality, Aarhus, Denmark


Keywords: cross-cutting partnerships with civil society, inclusion, power of art and creativity, identity, wellbeing, social communities

People suffering from dementia have a great desire to be able to maintain the familiar everyday life, where you can continue to live the life, you have lived until the diagnosis.

How can cultural institutions make a special difference for people with dementia and their relatives?

Dementia Friendly City of Aarhus aims to spread awareness of dementia and support the city to become dementia friendly, so that people with dementia can continue to live an active life with meaningful activities. Aarhus stands together for dementia – volunteers, business, citizens of Aarhus, cultural institutions – We stand together to create a city where everyone can live a safe and dignified life. In 2017 Aarhus started the movement towards becoming a dementia friendly society. The movement requires a strong focus on cross-cutting partnerships, and there has been close cooperation in the field of culture, as art and culture can play a very special role for people with dementia.

When dementia strikes, many senses are affected, and it becomes difficult to continue an active meaningful life. However, art and culture can do something special in the life of people with dementia and their relatives. Art is not one-sided and correct; perspectives are equal and give everyone equal opportunities. When cultural institutions get knowledge on dementia and what role the cultural institution can have in supporting people with dementia and create a space for equality, social communities, and a dementia friendly community.

Presentation Linn Wittendoff