It turns out that the philosophers were right. Art CAN make you happier. Art CAN nourish both your body and spirit

Sarbalé Ke by Francis Kéré
It turns out that the philosophers were right. Art CAN make you happier. Art CAN nourish both your body and spirit
Sarbalé Ke by Francis Kéré, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2019, photo by Iwan Baan.

The materiality of the installation has a colorful and reflective quality which changes throughout the day. In describing the piece Kéré shares, "At the installation’s center, the tallest baobab reaches a height of 19 meters, followed by one of 18 meters, then 17 meters. These three adjoin, forming Sarbalé Ke’s largest gathering space. Here, at the heart of the village, the baobab towers create space for visitors to flow through the trunks from all directions. This gives way to a light-filled, naturally ventilated and shaded interior, both evoking the wonder of daylight in the heart of a baobab while responding to the immediate need for shade in Coachella’s sweltering spring climate.”(


Look at the artwork below. I chose each of these as I sit in my MN home looking out at leafless gray trees, snow and (snurt… snow + dirt piled along the sidewalks). I find myself CRAVING color at this time of year and these pieces lightened my mood. Psychology says that color can enhance mood and studies show that looking at art can benefit our mind and spirit.

Janet Echelman, Bending Arc

When she began planning Bending Arc, she drew on her love of Florida’s nature and beaches and came from an emotional place of fun and leisure. She made patterns based on striped umbrellas from old postcards she’d studied and the barnacles that cling to the Pier. (Tampa Bay Times)

April Greiman, "Hand Holding a Bowl of Rice," Wilshire Vermont Station, public art commissioned mural, 8,200 sq feet; 2007

Los Angeles, California: A pair of 70-foot murals by artist April Greiman, painted with hopes to attract new residents to a housing development project, became an emblem for the city. The paintings have appeared in local and national magazines, are used as the imagery for the city’s transit system and are often the backdrop of televised announcements from the mayor. These murals have come to represent LA, giving the city a symbol that resonates with citizens through energy, color and vibe. (The Impact of Public Art Projects on Human Health)

UMBRELLAS IN ÁGUEDA, Artist not identified

One of the reasons fashion and art often go hand in hand is color. Color plays an important role in both, and can make or break its aesthetic. That’s why this umbrella installation in Águeda, Portugal is not only loved by the locals, but also attracts many international tourists. They provide shade in the hot streets, while casting bright reflections on passers beneath. And check out how they look like they’re just magically floating in the sky, brilliant charms of color. (shilpaahulja)

“I See What You Mean”™, Lawrence Argent 2005

The 40 ft tall bear can be found peering into the Colorado Convention Center and has become a favorite of tourists and locals alike.


Art can help you mimic the physical sensation of falling in love

Additionally, science has shown that viewing beautiful artwork can actually cause you to experience the same physical reactions we get when we fall in love.

Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist with the University of London, scanned the brains of volunteers while they viewed 28 works of art. Zeki discovered when a person views art they find beautiful, it triggers an immediate release of dopamine into the brain–a chemical related to feelings of love, pleasure, and desire.

  • Have you ever experienced the feeling of falling in love while viewing an artwork?
  • Do you seek beauty in times of stress or sadness?


Freeform Color Embroidery-Daily Stitch Meditation, Shannon Steven
  • Make something colorful, notice how it makes you feel.
  • Visit a local art museum or take a walk and look at public art.
  • Visit a free online museum… for your health;)


Francis Kéré

Diébédo Francis Kéré is an architect who was born April 10, 1965 in Gando, Burkina Faso, and studied at the Technical University of Berlin.

At the intersection of utopia and pragmatism, we create contemporary architecture that feeds the imagination with an afro-futurist vision.

Informed by tradition, our practice explores new modes of construction for which the foundations have long been laid. Innovative uses of local resources and participatory design methods allow us to work beyond the boundaries of most established design practices and shed dominant norms to set our own precedents. Working across diverse geographies, our portfolio spans a wide spectrum of projects from civic infrastructure to temporary installations, from concept to execution. Founded by Francis Kéré in 2005, with a dual focus on design and social commitment, the studio's scope encompasses building, design, and knowledge sharing.