In the first step of an Art Committee program that will evolve and grow, facilities staff recently installed more than 150 paintings and photographs across all six floors of Helford Clinical Research Hospital at City of Hope.
The painted roses bloom large and vibrant on the sixth floor lobby wall, their varying shades of yellow brightening and invigorating a space already flooded with the noonday sun and serene vistas of the San Gabriel mountain range.
In the second floor lobby, visitors stepping out of the elevator banks encounter a three-dimensional photo mosaic of the California coastline that is full of rocky cliffs, breaking waves and endless sky. Pediatric patients on the third floor enjoy a whimsical desert island mural covering all four walls that is inhabited by playful monkeys, a soulful sea turtle and mysterious, shelled sea creatures that entertain them while they receive treatment.
The Art Committee also commissioned a local muralist to create two room-size murals for a medical imaging room on the first floor and the pediatric infusion room on the third floor. Committee members are Glenda Hale, vice president, Hospital Administration; Kathy Kravits, director, Supportive and Pallative Care; Annette Mercurio, manager, Patient and Family Education; and John Oden, senior vice president, Facilities.
“It’s always been a goal for Helford to create an aesthetic environment that is inspiring and uplifting for patients, employees and visitors, and the art program is an important part of achieving that goal,” said Hale.
The Art Committee turned to Aesthetics Inc., known for creating healing environments, and Director of Art Programs Leah Goodwin, who used to sponsor the art therapy sessions at City of Hope, to help choose the artwork. With input from the committee, hospital staff and her more than 20-years of experience in public art, Goodwin kept the artwork specific to committee’s goals: to bring in the campus’ natural setting, celebrate the diverse local community and feature regional California artists.
“There’s a wonderful spirit of nurturing, healing and friendliness that is special to City of Hope,” said Goodwin. “While we were installing the pieces, we had patients and doctors telling us how much they loved the artwork and how it made them smile. It made them feel more at home.”
In the coming months, the lobbies on each floor also will house a new statue or sculpture, and plans are under way for a large hanging mobile in the soaring atrium entrance. Each patient room also will feature a blank frame that allows patients to select their own images from a library of 300 and change them as often as they desire.