Good Samaritan Project, The Gibault Memorial Tower
In 2015, Good Samaritan in Vincennes, Indiana completed a 5 floor addition to their hospital, The Gibault Memorial Tower. The new state-of the-art addition houses Cardiac Clinic, Critical Care Department and an Intensive Care Unit as well as Pediatric, Orthopedic, Oncology and Obstetric Units. The Interior Designer specified a nature theme relating to the Gibson County area and the Good Samaritan Administration wanted to use Nature Photography as the artwork, especially those provided by their employees.
The Museum Art Source was awarded the project for the artwork which numbered almost 300 pieces in ranging sizes and imagery. Working from the floor plans, each unit was assigned a style and theme of imagery for each patient room. There has been many studies done about how people react to color, image content and style of artwork depending on where they are and the situation they may be experiencing. Many of these studies directly relate to health care and how art can benefit the patients and families; as well as, how the wrong selection of artwork can be more stressful.
Since patients have different experiences with different treatments, each unit must have careful consideration as to the artwork that is selected. Patients undergoing chemotherapy benefit from smoothing imagery with cool color palettes due to the effects of the medicine. Logically, the color red would be avoided in an Emergency Department area but it is also not appropriate for Mental Health facilities as the hotter colors tend to excite emotions. Images that have less color contrast and soft lines are more visually soothing. Whereas images with lots of lines and high contrast with complimentary color palettes are considered stimulating.
Intensive Care Patient Rooms received a softer soothing photograph while Pediatric Patient Rooms got colorful and fun images. The Orthopedic area were the Patients are to be encouraged to get up and moving after joint replacement surgery and such, those patient rooms were provided with images of paths moving through landscapes. The Obstetric Unit was to be used for more than delivering babies so photography of mother and child would not be appropriate for all the medical treatments taking place. But, the use of images that suggested parent and offspring with floral imagery worked for the Labor rooms.
The Patient’s Families are given a great consideration in Healthcare Facilities. In Consultation Rooms, Families are ushered in and left to wait until a Medical Staff member can sit with them to deliver the latest update. As stressful as this experience can be, the images for these rooms needs to be comforting and familiar. But, the Family Retreat areas have more latitude and imagery can feature bright color and more complex images.
In the common areas where most people would pass through or congregate, the photography was images of Vincennes and the County. Images of the George Rogers Clark Memorial, the Bridge spanning the Wabash River, and the surrounding country, side some livestock included. Many of the images were those provided by the Good Samaritan Employees. By utilizing the common areas to showcase the Employee’s photographs encourages the Employees to feel included in the artwork process and have pride in their new work environment.
There was a large wall in the lobby that really needed a grand statement. The Administration had discussed somehow incorporating the Good Samaritan Parable into a work of art. Nothing speaks louder than words so a painting of a scene with wording incorporated into it would be perfect. Here was the opportunity to have Kirsten Bowen paint an image using an Employee photograph and work in the Parable into to the texture of the paint. The artist uses the Renaissance painting technique known as Venetian Plaster to achieve a painted landscape with raised texture that forms the lettering. The 6 foot by 4 foot painting turned out brilliant. “Love thy neighbor as yourself” worked out to be prominently situated and speaks out to the viewer.
The Museum Art Source is proud to have been selected to provide artwork for the Gibault Memorial Tower at Good Samaritan. Working with the Good Samaritan Staff was a great experience. And, the Museum Art Source will continue to assist with the Renovation of the Hospital through this year. For more information please contact the Museum Art Source, a division of the Evansville Museum Shop.