This past Monday I was in Des Moines to help hang an exhibit at an interesting location – Gallery West, in the Imaging Waiting Area of the VA Central Iowa Health Care System! The regularly-changing exhibits in Gallery West are part of their “healing environment” initiative, meant to make this waiting area a welcoming, relaxing place for the people coming through. The color brightens it up, and there is a lovely hanging system — Olson-Larsen Galleries of West Des Moines advised the facility on the hanging system and helped the staff learn how to use it.
We installed 14 of my works including a man’s head in ceramic, women’s heads sculpted from handmade cotton paper, and a variety of watercolors. About 700 people come through the waiting area every week, needing medical imaging (like CT scans) for all kinds of reasons, and I met some of them while I was there. Often family members come along, and wait for them — it’s hard for families, too, to see loved ones suffer. I’m very grateful for what our veterans and their families have done for all of us.
There will be a small opening reception for the exhibit on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. I’ll talk about art and healing, which fits right in with the VA staff members’ interest in the healing environment. I’m thankful for the opportunity not only to display my work, but also to meet these dedicated people.