Eliette Markhbein, acrylic on canvas
Member Spotlight: Eliette Markhbein M.S., M.A., CDAT
The Therapeutic Arts Program - The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center, NY
Winner of the 2010 Society for the Arts in Healthcare Best Practice Award
2011 - Nelson A. Voorhees Award. National Rehabilitation Association -
Eliette Markhbein was born and raised in Paris, France and studied History and Art History at the Sorbonne. She came to the US in 1974 to work for the French Embassy as a Cultural Assistant, brokering state sponsored exhibits, dance and opera tours in the US. Eliette earned a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1979, and for 25 years covered arts and culture for European and American magazines. She became an artist as the result of trauma, sustaining a traumatic brain and spine injury in 2004, the consequence of being struck by a speeding car. “I turned to art as a respite from rehabilitation, to tame my pain as well as to search for answers within. I found strength, peace and clarity in the process.” Half way through her rehabilitation Eliette became passionate about the power of the arts to heal from trauma and founded in 2006 an Arts in Medicine program at the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center MSRC in New York, the hospital where she was treated. The program offers patients in the spinal cord and brain injury units a non medical approach to recovery.
By fostering patients’ creativity and facilitating painting Eliette helps paraplegic and quadriplegic patients as well as patients with strokes, brain tumors or traumatic brain injuries set in motion their own healing process. By encouraging them to express themselves through painting, Eliette sustains their efforts in meeting their challenges and overcoming their struggles: from the initial shock, mental, physical and emotional chaos created by the abruptness of their injury, pain, anger, denial and depression, trough their grueling physical and cognitive reeducation, to the discovery of their inner strength and potential, acceptance and integration of their new self and affirmation of their survivor’s identity. Eliette curated an exhibit of patients’ artworks in 2008 that was so successful it became permanent.
With patients permission artworks are photographed and catalogued for use by healthcare professionals, researchers and academics, constituting a library of several hundreds works recording the visual representations of spinal cord injuries, strokes, viral meningitis, anoxic injury, traumatic brain injuries, locked-in syndrome, and other neurological illnesses.
For the Mission of the Therapeutic Arts Program at Mount Sinai Click Here
- WABC-TV Segment on Eliette's work at Mount Sinai Click Here
MEDIA & PRESS Click Here
Elliette is also currently working on the TBI Project. The TBI Project intends to raise public and political awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury through a traveling exhibit called WHACK’ed ... and then everything was different Portraits of Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors, and fund raising by auctioning the paintings to support nationwide Artists in Residence programs in rehabilitation facilities. MORE >
Eliette’s art mirrors her interior landscape. It reflects the existentialist challenge to redefine herself, to live a meaningful life and actively contribute to society. As such, it is a road map for her work with patients facing the same questions.
acrylic on canvas
acrylic and oil pastels on paper
P.S.1 MoMA-Studio Visit Click Here