Friday, March 11, 2011

On Hospital Art

Hooray for the little (or life-sized) touches that make a hospital feel child-friendly.

Who am I kidding? ALL hospitals should have art like this...

Primary Children's is filled with framed artwork provided by local children, professional pieces, quilts, and display cases with interesting paraphernalia from local legends. At one end of the building, it even has a glassed in model amusement park with a tiny running train and working lights.

If you'll recall from my last (forever long) post, painted ceiling tiles have been placed at random around the hospital. You might not even notice them unless you were a child staring up from her bed. And since that's the general populous... I think it's a nice touch.

In addition employees decorate doors and walls with cute cut-outs, like this:

The two story hospital entryway (which rises to the second floor) has its own mural: a blue sky filled with birds and 3D blocks... bears climbing trees... some grass.

The four elevators on the south end of the hospital are papered in friendly scenes while the elevators at the north end have a glass wall that looks out into a "fish tank."

(Though, I must admit, the elevators in the middle of the hospital are considerably more stalwart and live only for duty, not enjoyment.)

Here is our friend Jen Jensen (right) and her classmates who are all training to be nurses. She took the photo above of the blocks, and I took this photo of her in front of the elevator "fish tank." You can't tell in a still, but the fish are mechanized and enjoy "swimming" around.

***Exciting Art News Flash!***

Since the last time we were admitted, there have been big changes on the third floor!

We have always been posted to the third floor surgery unit under the stewardship of Dr. Black. This time we lived in room 3050, and directly across from our room was this wall:

And if you walk down the hall to your right, here's the same wall a few steps further on:

Um... so perhaps you're wondering why I think this is so great?

Well, here's that same wall a few days later:

Do you remember Bob Ross?

Bob Ross is one of my four heroes. He was a grand-master painter who completed a new scene on canvas from start to finish each day on his television show. He used oils and did everything in careful layers. As he talked you through the process, he calmly talked about his "happy little trees."

Well this is my new friend who paints the murals. He's really nice. He reminds me of Bob Ross... only... different. He was really excited for us when we got to go home.

If you like his work, I have his number. I'm planning to hire him to come paint murals inside my house. And if you'd like the same, let me know, and I'll pass his information along.

We were situated in the Jungle/Savannah corridor, and I'm really excited to go back and check it out once the murals are complete.

Each layer takes several days to dry properly before the next layer can be daubed on, so I felt kind of lucky that we got to watch the progress. And the chosen progress wall just happened to be outside our room, too!

If you were to walk out of our room to the left, you would find another unfinished portion of the same mural. I was surprised to see this much foreground detail since the background isn't complete.

Cool, no? Seriously, that's a fine looking lion.

In addition, the hospital is adding matching details to the floors.

This was our room -- the "alligator" room. How appropriate.

And if you think that lion was amazing, check out the Ocean corridor that is already complete.

So this is where the Jungle meets the Ocean. The two doctors conferring in mid-ground were standing at our pod, directly in front of our room. But, in case you're wondering, they're not actually our doctors.

Turn the corner and blow me down! This wasn't even here a year ago!

(Or, if it was, I *really* didn't get out of Bridgette's room enough...)

Note the flooring details above and the glass brick details below:

The pod ceilings and columns are also decorated, all by the new Bob Ross:

Note the wavy railings below. For realz! Kudos on the details, artwork planners:

This was the corridor with the floor's washer/dryer. I needed to wash Bridgette's beloved blankets several times each day, and the artwork made me SO happy as I walked to and from the laundry area.

Beyond the corridors, we're starting to see additional floor inlays too. I watched a man adding the outline piping. It's a painstaking process.

These in-line skates are only one example. We also noticed a race car and a bus in the third floor lobbies. Bridgette really liked the race car.

Room 3050 is quite near the north lobby where the non-denominational sanctuary is located. I like to hang-out there sometimes when Bridgette is sleeping. It's a great place for a little contemplation, a few tears, prayers, or silence... depending on what you need.

The sanctuary has a big stained-glass window that is pleasantly lit for your viewing pleasure. I didn't think to photograph it, but I wish I had.

It's a beautifully rendered piece, not so much for the ironwork that creates the image outlines but for the meticulous shading within each piece of glass. If you take the time to view it carefully, I think you'll be impressed.

The window was moved to the sanctuary from the private home in which Primary Children's was originally located.

Inside the sanctuary are three main pieces of art: an oil of three people walking a hilly path (presumably two parents and a child, but the entire piece is open for interpretation -- is it dusk or dawn? are they coming or going? does it represent the end or the beginning of a journey? etc.), an understated but overt Christian image of two children playing with a Nativity set before a cozy fire (and given the overwhelmingly Christian population here, I think it's an appropriate inclusion), and another stained glass piece that hangs from the ceiling completing the overall chi.

The room itself is small, darkish, and peaceful, fitted with plum colored furniture.

The furniture and paintings were all donated and dedicated to special individuals. Some were very young when they died.

At one end of the sanctuary is a table that holds a Native American "burden basket." You can write your burdens, place them in the basket, and occasionally they are ceremonially burned. I use it from time to time.

But I've always been curious whether that ceremony incorporates the nearest hospital incinerator...

1 comment:

Lore said...

Lovely, Kelly. Thank you for taking the time to document this and to share it with us. I don't remember seeing any of this art either, so unless I was blind at the time, it must be new.