The UK Arts in HealthCare program is dedicated to serving our patients, staff, providers, faculty, students, families and caregivers as well as our community and the state of Kentucky. We strive to develop and implement various forms of visual and performing arts related programming in an effort to engage those we wish to serve.

Our engagement efforts include:

  • Annual, juried employee art call featuring gallery exhibits by employees from UK HealthCare, campus, and their immediate family members
  • Arts related workshops for patients, staff, providers and families
  • Visual arts exhibits featuring art by patients, providers, and students of all ages from local public schools, UK's campus and beyond
  • Live music and performing arts programming featuring students of all ages, volunteers, paid performers and UK School of Music students and faculty
  • Healthcare related visual arts exhibits at local, Lexington galleries
  • Various other visual arts projects in collaboration with faculty and students from Fayette County Public Schools and the UK School of Art and Visual Studies


Workshops are one way that we can effectively engage those we hope to serve while exposing them to the benefits of participating in arts related activities geared towards health and wellness.

Body Mapping

This four-day workshop was made possible through the collaboration of The College of Fine Arts, the Ruth Hunt Wood Foundation, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), the UK Arts in HealthCare Program and the UK HealthCare transplant team. In February 2013, Zavier Verhoest of Kenya served as the facilitator for a four-day workshop with eight organ transplant patients. The workshop provided a healing journey and wonderful communal experience for the participants.


Caring for the Caregiver

In May 2013, 30 UK HealthCare nurses and nurse managers participated in a movement workshop conducted by Suzanne Costello of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater. Suzanne used movement to reinforce the need for caretakers to replenish themselves so they can take better care of patients. The nursing program plans to conduct a therapeutic workshop each year with a group of UK HealthCare nurses.

Recycled Medical Plastics Collaborative Public Art

"Unity MoonPie McSparkles" - A Magical Unicorn

In 2021, after years of collecting and saving thousands of pieces of recyclable medical plastics from the landfill, staff from Kentucky Children’s Hospital and UK HealthCare set out to create a collaborative work of public art. The project culminated in the form of a magical unicorn. Now living on the 4th floor of the Kentucky Children's Hospital, MoonPie's magic will bring healing smiles and hope to patients and staff for many years to come. 

Watch a video about the making of MoonPie here.

Recycled Medical Plastics Collaborative Public Art

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMT) 

Staff from our Markey Cancer Center Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, working under the guidance of a local, professional artist, created a large, collaborative work of art from small, recycled medical plastic pieces that had been collected by the unit. The finished piece now hangs proudly on the unit. It serves as a symbol of the staff's commitment to providing excellent patient care.


A 12 month pilot program serving General Surgery residents and their immediate family members. The program offered 12 different, monthly visual art making workshops led by professional artists.