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Artwork at the New Hospital

Seeds of Change

That call for art prompted Mary Carothers to submit a unique, inspiring proposal that was selected to decorate the high atrium at the hospital entrance.

Acknowledging the theme of hope and healing—coupled with the fact that the land occupied by the new hospital was once a field that grew soybeans—Carothers chose to put together collections of floating seeds, not unlike those that one might blow off a dandelion. More than 600 fiber optic seed pods are suspended from the ceiling in a design akin to the Ohio River along the western Kentucky and southern Indiana border to form a floating seed sculpture.

Carothers connected with community members to collect an assortment of seeds that have significance. “Seeds may hold personal, professional or spiritual mean­ing,” she says.

For example, the mustard seed—which symbolizes the beginning of faith in the Christian life—might be one of the religious symbols, while soybeans or tobacco seeds could represent industries or professions common to Kentucky.

“Seeds from flowers may stand to recognize the gar­den in one’s backyard,” she says. “While the same kind of seeds—as seen by a different individual—may represent the foundation of a new cure.

Seeds of Change is located in the atrium (main lobby) just past the front entrance.

Soothing colors. Serene scenes that you can escape into. The coolness of water and the warmth of sunshine. These are just a few examples of what visitors and patients may experience when they view selections of artwork at the new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.

In addition to spacious patient rooms with windows dis­playing views of water features and lush landscapes, inte­rior décor in the nine-story hospital features original works by local artists and photographers that reflect the familiar, natural surroundings of western Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Sample Our Collection

Here are a few of the pieces you will find in and around the new hospital.

Proven Remedy

In developing guidelines for artwork, the committee leaned on research about art in healthcare.

Barbara Harriman, an art advisor working with the committee, says the purpose of the artwork is to provide “positive distractions to help patients leave the stress of the moment and respond better to treatment.”

Putting the right art in place supports patient care, and can even lead to shorter hospital stays, she says. Studies indicate that patients need less medication and exhibit more positive attitudes when exposed to artwork featur­ing natural surroundings, she notes. “We want to create an experience to keep patients close to nature and support the architectural serenity designed into the space.”

In fall 2011, Owensboro Health worked with the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art to sponsor a juried art exhibit in the hopes of finding pieces for placement in the new hospital. Area artists submitted more than 700 ideas or finished works, including oils, photographs, acrylics and multi-panel pieces.

Watch the New Hospital Get Built - in 2 Minutes!

Time lapse video chronicles new hospital construction from the beginning.

Visit our multimedia page for more videos about the new hospital.