Taylor started working for UAB's Institute for Arts in Medicine (AIM) in the fall of 2014. As an artist in residence for AIM, Taylor brings her love of textiles and sewing to the hospital environment. Taylor offers workshops to patients on the High Risk Obstetrics unit and to families of children in the Regional NICU and Continuing Care Nursery (CCN). Both of these units are housed in UAB's Women and Infants Center (WIC). Taylor also provides sewing activities for patients receiving infusion therapies at The Kirklin Clinic and WIC.
Hand sewing reduces stress by giving the mind a single, repetitive task to focus on. Not only are patients, family caregivers and staff able to distract themselves from tensions, anxieties or boredom while in the hospital environment, but the activities Taylor facilitates often become a part of the recovery process or hospital experience. Expecting mothers create small quilts for their babies and have used them to decorate a premature baby's isolette in the NICU or CCN.
Taylor's colorful examples of embroidery, quilting and sewing are conversation starters even when hand sewing isn't an option for a patient. Seen as a "dying art", these forms of expression are rooted in the memories of most adults and long conversations have sprung from the recollection of a grandmother's quilting frame attached to the ceiling or clothing made by industrious mothers.
Sewing isn't just for women. Many expecting fathers have participated in workshops, embroidering sports balls, animals and even angels in anticipation of the young son or daughter who they will one day be able to tell, "I made this for you while you were in the hospital..."
As an artist in residence in UAB's Institute for Arts in Medicine, Taylor's primary concern is to make connections with those she encounters in the hospital environment. Sewing and embroidery are merely the tools with which she hopes to engage. The hospital is fraught with difficult situations and complicated or overwhelming information. Doctors, nurses and support staff are fully committed to managing the patient's health or recovery. As an artist in residence, Taylor hopes to supplement this commitment through connecting with the patient or family member's heart, mind and spirit, thus providing the possibility for a more holistic approach.