Art Selections Planned for New Hospital

Posted 16 December 2014 2:13 PM by TCAuthor3

By Linda Gilbert, Shawano Medical Center Foundation manager

Artwork can make a hospital more beautiful. It can be calming, distracting or just interesting to look at. But did you know that art can actually help patients heal?

Many architects, including the designers of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, are incorporating art into the designs of their healthcare buildings. They are basing their decisions on studies that show some patients report feeling less pain, and have lower blood pressure, in rooms where beautiful artwork is displayed. Nature images and familiar subjects seem to have the most positive effect. This doesn't mean patients scrap their medications because they are looking at beautiful scenes. It just illustrates that environment plays a role in the patient feeling better and the right art plays a part in the patient’s healing.

The Living Well Together capital campaign, a project of the Shawano Medical Center Foundation, has pledged support for artwork in the new building. The College of Menominee Nation has also pledged to support the arts through its donation to the Living Well Together campaign.

Under the guidance of Karen Hertz-Sumnicht, an experienced art consultant with Avenue Art & Co, along with an interested team, guidelines for art selection at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano are being determined. At the first meeting, the team has already mapped out a list of the criteria they will use to make their art selections.

1.   Warm, inviting, soothing, calm, relaxing

2.   Hopeful

3.   Familiar/comfortable

4.   Joyful-evoke a smile

5.   Celebratory/uplifting

6.   Concept of journey, unending, continuation of life

7.   Full spectrum color palette

8.   Sense of gratitude, spiritual

9.   Nature inspired

10. Encompass diversity

11. Appreciation of wisdom, integrity

12. Appropriate, fits the standards

What does a warm, hopeful, diverse, familiar piece of artwork look like? This team is looking forward to finding out, and thoughtfully placing it at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano.