Brighton artists Katherine Larson and Christine Sarazin are among 84 Michigan artists that were chosen to provide artwork for St. Joseph Mercy Oakland's new patient tower, scheduled to open in 2014 in Pontiac.
St. Joseph requested artists for submissions that supported the healing journey by representing elements of nature or water landscapes. The artists were chosen by a committee made up of 23 doctors, nurses, visitors and marketing team members.
Larson said her work is in both watercolor and oil and contains a lot of nature and local Michigan themes - especially themes with the sun.
"I've often been in situations where I've been in waiting rooms or hospitals, waiting for myself or someone else, and it's a wonderful feeling to look at something that is peaceful and inspiring and calms your heart rate," Larson said. "It puts you in a different place - you go to that place depicted in the piece. It's a real honor to have been selected."
Sarazin said she was elated to discover her artwork was chosen for the new patient tower because her father had used St. Joe's for some time when he was ill.
Sarazin submitted bronze work along with her watercolor and oil paintings.
"When I paint, I find a place that makes me stop, take a deep breath, relax and just feel free and at peace," she said. "I try to catch that moment in my painting so if someone stops and sees it, they can go down that stream or up that path and take a nice mental vacation from the worries that are going on around them."
The artworks will be a mixture of both purchased and commissioned, and will be placed in the new lobby, elevator lobbies, waiting rooms, consultation rooms, patient rooms and public areas.
Originally, more than 225 Michigan artists applied to have their artwork considered.
Leah Goodwin, director of Art Programs with Aesthetics, Inc, is coordinating the artwork the leadership from the hospital. Goodwin said they were very pleased with the number of entries they received.
"There's thousands of research studies that have been done on this and what has been proven is that in a healthcare setting, human beings are stressed," Goodwin said. "And so the environment plays a role in the journey of the patient and the family. and having artwork that is recognizable and beautiful actually makes people feel more at peace. The art supports the spiritual part of the body's journey in the healthcare setting."
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland will acquire about 850 pieces of artwork from the selected artists, including 47 major commissions. Funding for the artwork is being provided by private donors.