Fusion of medicine and art soothes the soul

A medical office might not seem like a conventional venue to display original top-notch artwork and photography but the design is purely therapeutic.

“The whole idea is to create an atmosphere where we can fuse medicine and art,” explained Brett Berman, M.D., F.A.A.C., who operates the Chula Vista Cardiac Center with his partner Vitali Aizin, M.D. “It’s a matter of relaxation. I find patients who are immersed in this atmosphere often lower their blood pressure 20 to 30 percent before their examination.”

The center opened last month at 321 E St. in Chula Vista on the site of the former business office of The Star-News. The medical practice is making news of its own by providing a non-conventional display space for soul-soothing  artwork.

More than 40 original paintings and photographs adorn the walls of the refurbished building.

Plans are to rotate artwork every six months. All artwork is available for purchase.

The non-conventional showcase is an exciting opportunity for the initial four artists involved.

Photographer Alexandra Borbolla, renowned in Mexico for her work, has been taking pictures since she was 14. She is passionate about showing through her lens a view that calls for something larger, she said.

“There is always a story behind a moment, and the magic comes when you capture the mystery of eternity within,” she explained.

Borbolla has become involved in both canvas and metal printing; her photography has taken her around the world to such exotic places as Namibia, India, the Caribbean, New York, Montreal and, of course, throughout San Diego.

“I like what’s in nature,” she said at a May 20 reception. “Memories are the core of the present, an image can make us feel the beauty, the sad, all emotions.”

Quyen Nguyen, co-owner of the building, said the expansive white lobby was designed especially to promote an energetic healing process for patients.

“We wanted to make this a space for local artists,” Nguyen explained. “I feel people want to see art on their own terms.”

Kerry Riché, a local San Diego abstract artist, dabbles in large format painting. There are lots of tranquil blues in her work.

The largest painting Riché has completed measures 90 inches by 100 inches.

“Her determination to express harmonious places on canvas allows the viewer to identify happiness,” Nguyen noted in Riché’s bio.

Sergei Rusakoff, originally from the Ukraine but a San Diego resident since 2005, specializes in liquid art — capturing, in his words, “the nuclear fusion of the sun reflecting in an ocean of mercury.”

His art incorporates the Turkish Ebru technique of pattern marbling by applying color pigments to the surface of an oily substance, floating paint on water, for instance, and then transferring this pattern to paper.

Tamara Benitez is a student in the ornamental horticulture department at Cuyamaca College. Her majors are floral design, landscape design and nursery technology. She uses Tillandsia plants (commonly known as air plants due to their ability to grow without soil by attaching to other plants) to create her wall art installations.

“Plants can inspire and surprise us,” she said.

Berman said he would like to showcase medicinal plants in the future.

Sounds like the perfect prescription.