Arts commission honors St. Mary’s choice of local artwork for addition

There is more to the new St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center than a tall building and upgraded patient rooms.

As part of the Century Project budget and planning process, project managers with St. Mary’s allocated approximately $375,000 to purchase original and reproduced artwork done by Colorado artists for the new hospital.

St. Mary’s support of local and regional artists was recognized Tuesday when the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture named its annual recipients of Champion of the Arts awards.

St. Mary’s Hospital, Pamela Blythe of Blythe Group Co. and Krystyn Hartman at Grand Valley Magazine were this year’s winners.

The recipients of the Champion of the Arts awards were nominated by cultural organizations and residents.

“The fact that they continue to choose local, original or reproductive art instead of prints that have no connection to the hospital’s community speaks volumes about this institution,” Cheryl McNab, executive director of The Art Center, wrote in her nomination letter for St. Mary’s.

Sister Barbara Aldrich, vice president of mission integration at St. Mary’s, was on the team that selected the artwork for the new hospital. The artwork is scheduled to be hung in December, with completion of the project near.

The artwork team considered how the St. Mary’s addition could be a healing environment for patients. Members spent hours looking at submissions from local artists.

“We had the floor plan, and literally from that actually decided where these pieces would go,” Aldrich said.

The committee members selected artwork for patient rooms and the hallways of the new hospital.

“Art is so critical to that healing environment,” Aldrich said. “It will just add so much to the healing environment.”

Blythe was a designer responsible for much of St. Mary’s art collection. Her 35-year career in Grand Junction has focused on ways to incorporate original artwork into commercial projects, McNab said.

The awards will be presented Saturday during the Symphony Gala at Two Rivers Convention Center.


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