By Peggy Weiss
Harborview Art Program
For more than 30 years, Harborview Medical Center has recognized the powerful humanizing effects of art in the health care environment. Diverse collections of original art in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists are on view throughout the hospital, bringing comfort, inspiration and moments of respite to our patients, their families, our staff members and visitors.
Beginning in October 2008, Harborview’s recently completed Norm Maleng Building will provide a beautiful new home for more than 100 additions to the medical center’s distinguished art collections. Major works of art by Adrian Arleo (Montana), Scott Evans (Idaho), Akio Takamori (Washington), Sara Mast (Montana), Donnie Varnell (Alaska), and Anne Appleby (Montana), commissioned specifically for the building by 4Culture, are presented on each of its nine floors. Additionally, 60 pieces of portable art, including paintings, drawings, photographs and textiles, are sited along the skybridge corridors, and in primary public waiting areas. Large-scale environmental artworks created by Seattle artists Beliz Brother and Gloria Bornstein are found at the building’s entrance. Brother’s monumental titanium sculpture, titled “Bridge,” suggests the soothing effects of flowing water, and Bornstein’s bronze inlays, integrated into the sidewalk and collectively titled “The Walk to the Mountain,” refer metaphorically to the journey one might make from illness back to health.
The centerpiece of the Norm Maleng Building lobby is Harborview’s recently established Northwest Collection of Contemporary Ceramic Art. This special collection comprises dozens of works that reflect the major contributions of our region’s artists to the national ceramics movement, beginning in the 1940s and continuing to the present day. The foundation of this new public collection was a major gift of 45 individual pieces given by Anne Gould Hauberg, one of Seattle’s most revered and generous collectors and philanthropists. Works drawn from this unparalleled gift will remain on permanent view in the Norm Maleng Building lobby, and will help to describe the history and legacy of ceramic art in the Northwest. The Northwest Collection of Contemporary Ceramic Art also features work by some of the area’s most exciting artists working today. These pieces were acquired with support from the Harborview Fund, through employee contributions and gifts. Jeffry Mitchell, Juan Granados, Charles Krafft, Eric Nelsen, Carol Gouthro, Margaret Ford, and Patrick Siler are among the outstanding artists who works have been acquired to illustrate the important role of clay in our region’s artistic evolution.
Newly published guides to the art in the Norm Maleng Building are now available, and a Listen 4Culture Public Art Cell Phone Tour (206-296-4848) will soon be accessible, providing detailed information about selected works on view.
A series of public events, including a citywide clay symposium and participation in the Seattle’s regular First Thursday Artwalk, are scheduled to introduce the public to the wonderful new art found throughout the Norm Maleng Building, and a special focus on ceramics continues through the fall season. The Citywide Clay Symposium will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the Harborview Research and Training Building; the First Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk takes place from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2. Noted Seattle artists Miki Willis and Kim Lunz will lead claymaking workshops for patients and families on various units throughout the month of October, and functional ceramics by local artists will be featured in the Harborview Gift Shop throughout the holiday season.
Plan a visit to Harborview’s Norm Maleng Building to enjoy the art on view! For further information about the Harborview Art Program, or to arrange a special tour, contact Peggy Weiss, art program manager, or visit www.harborviewart.org.