Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Artful Hospital-ity

David was in the hospital recently and this gave me the opportunity to witness the power of design on humanity (or at least, myself.)  I drove him to the University of Kentucky emergency room.  We parked in the garage and learned that we could take a special van right to the emergency room door. This was good, because the UK hospital is opening its new, major building complex, and I was not sure where everything was located.  However, when it came time to run home and walk the dog, I wanted to check out the new corridors and the bridge which allows you to overpass the busy street and arrive at the garage.  I was in for a treat. On my way, there were displayed photographs from Guy Mendes' 40/40 collection. One of these is a photo Anna and Harlan Hubbard that Meg has procured for the Little Fine Arts Library's Hubbard Wall.  I walked up the steps and was met with the expansive, almost breezy bridge over Limestone.  There were tall windows along the Guy Mendes hall and the bridge was fully fenestrated, allowing the a re-entrance into the larger world. It was so refreshing that I decided I would travel this way every time.
        The second day in the hospital, David was transferred to a room in the original hospital. This was great, because it meant I had a last chance to be in the building where my father worked (he was an original UK Medical school faculty member. We were even on the same floor as his lab--for a few hours.)  The new location(s) allowed me to experience the screened wall (in the photo above, behind Mary) which features photos and videos of Kentucky people, horses and scenes of all sorts.  There is a quote by Jesse Stuart.  It is a real experience!
      There was art in the emergency room lobby and in each individual room.  There is art along the new, expansive corridors (the word "hall" doesn't do them justice.) I liked some of the art better than others, but it makes a refreshing difference to have Kentucky scenes to gaze at as you might be fretting over a loved one. It is healing!
      I do not have any art work in the UK hospital, but I do have several pieces in the Fleming County Hospital.  That hospital is quite beautiful and they developed this concept before the UK hospital.  They selected work from mostly regional artists and many of the scenes are local, Fleming County scenes.  In the cafeteria, they have a revolving exhibit.  In fact, I have a selection of horse paintings up there (though probably not for much longer).
     I never thought I would say this, but I miss walking along those spacious, beautiful corridors of the new UK hospital!  Just look at this sky!

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