NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Hundreds of people are in New Orleans this week for a conference on hospice care. This year, the Louisiana- Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization had several local artists take part in a competition to raise awareness about hospice care. The art is full of emotion. News With A twist reporter Deepak Saini shows you exhibit on display at the Loews Hotel.
Caring for a dying loved one isn’t easy. For some, hospice is the best option. Now that care and compassion is immortalized through art at the lobby of the Loews Hotel.
“There’s some interesting pieces here that I think capture what’s actually going on in Louisiana and Mississippi in regards to Hospice care being brought into people’s homes,” says Jamey Boudreaux with LMHPCO.
In Louisiana, 18,000 people die every year who’ve been through hospice care. To raise awareness, the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization created “Art of Hospice,” where local artists spent time in hospices and interpreted their experiences with art.
“We really wanted the artist to become part of the hospice team for a period of time so they can really understand what the hospice is doing and then they can go back and try and struggle with those images to create these pieces,” says Boudreaux.
They’re emotional pieces but everyone deals with grief differently, some with humor.
“I do dog art so at first I was a little concerned. I was like, are you sure you want me,” says artist Jim Tweedy.
The Covington-based artist is known for his “Friendly Doggies” series so he stuck with what he knows.
“We’ve got the family scene all gathered around just like you’d have in a human home. I guess that’s grandma in bed here surrounded by her loved ones and her photos and memories are on the wall. The hospice attending nurse is here taking care of her but she’s being read to and she’s got her family cat here and the whole deal,” says Tweedy.
For Tweedy, it’s personal.
“I lost my mother in November. She was in hospice care for the last week of her life so it hit close to home. It was important for me to get involved with the project.”
Facing the end of life is scary, but in the Loews hotel lobby, you’ll find meaning and perhaps, closure.
You can check out the “Art of Hospice” gallery inside the lobby of the Loews Hotel through Friday. The art will be displayed on a traveling exhibit through select cities in Louisiana and Mississippi this fall and spring.
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