When Humboldt General Hospital's new medical office building opened to the public earlier this month, it included some finishing touches by local artists.
More than 200 photographs and art pieces are represented in the 30,000 square feet of space that includes eight medical office suites, conference rooms, offices, a central reception desk and two patient waiting areas.
Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish said the local art was exactly what was needed to make the building a part of the community.
"The art is beautiful and very representative of our county, its landscapes and people," said Parrish. "We were tremendously pleased with the response we got from our local artists; it was definitely more than we had hoped."
In all, about a dozen local residents responded to newspaper ads requesting art samples in the spring. Other artists were recruited through the Shooting the West photography symposium last March. Several others came through the recommendation of local art groups.
In all, 20 local residents have art placed in the hospital.
"I am very excited to have a piece of my original artwork displayed in the beautiful new addition, and truly appreciate the fact that the hospital decided to use local art," said local painter Maryanna Enochson.
Other artists expressed similar enthusiasm at a local project that would allow them to sell and display their art. Several even noted that as a result of the project, they have expanded their websites or other aspects of their businesses to prepare themselves more fully for future opportunities.
"I feel your program is a wonderful opportunity for local artists to share their work with the community," said Ann Brinkoetter. "To have art hung in a facility where many are able to appreciate it is the keystone for an artist. I am a local amateur photographer and to see my work in such a wonderful facility is a true highlight."
Local photographer Linda Dufurrena who has multiple pieces hanging in this and other facilities said artwork is important in hospitals, not only for the patient, but for relatives and caregivers.
"I have personally been contacted by so many people waiting for their loved ones to recover who have found peace and joy in looking at the artwork during those long hours," she said.
"To have local art in our own hospital is an added value. Thank you to the hospital for choosing local artists to decorate the new facility."
Teddy Swecker noted that "paintings add beauty and comfort to the space around them."
"They add a peacefulness that relaxes the mind allowing the body to heal," she said. "A hospital is the perfect place for the display of art. I'm honored to have my paintings on the walls of Humboldt General Hospital."
Artist Jim Christison agreed. "HGH's decision to include visual arts created by local area artists in the decor of the new addition enhances the interior spaces while providing a unique connection to the natural beauty surrounding the community."
The Humboldt General Hospital Art Program was a joint project between designers from CTA Architects and staff members at Humboldt General Hospital. The details of art purchase and positioning were made by Judith Christensen of Judith Christensen Art Consulting, an art buyer from Salt Lake City who routinely associates with CTA.
Participating artists include Andrew Legarza, Ann Brinkoetter, Brandi Betancourt, Jim Christison, Jessie Rowe, Kelley Morris, Kim Rust, Linda Dufurrena, Lynn Clemons, Lynn Mitchell, Maryanna Enochson, Patricia Neeley, Rebekah Dorris, Robin Gillis, Robin Kolar, Teddy Swecker, David Munk, Dennis Thomas, Lance Thomas and Belinda Bell.
The art ranges from oil paintings to photographs to a tile mosaic representation of Water Canyon. The pieces are hung throughout the public areas of the new building as well as in providers' offices, conference rooms, administrative offices and the hallway areas that are mainly accessed by staff members.
"This art project has given these new facilities a great look and feel," said Parrish. "We are so pleased with the results. We hope our community will be equally impressed."
Christison believes they will. "HGH could have easily taken the path of hanging generic imagery, and local artists certainly appreciate the opportunity to have their work displayed in such a stylish and modern venue."
Enochson added, "We have many talented artists in this community and it's wonderful to be able to have local art showcased in such an amazing venue. We certainly hope the general public gets a chance to visit and see the many types of art that were used."
The public is welcome to walk through the public areas of the building and view the artwork. Local art pieces include a small plaque that designates the artist's name.
For more information on Humboldt General Hospital or its latest expansion, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 123, or visit www.hghospital.ws