A group of art enthusiasts has a vision of brightening up Campbell River hospital.
Ken Blackburn, a program co-ordinator at the museum, told council that a newly formed art group is looking at adding artwork to the hospital entrances, the waiting area, the hallways, elevators and stairwells.
Blackburn said adding colour to the hospital’s plain walls sends a message of healing and support.
“Several hospital departments are on board with the proposal as well as the site director for the hospital,” Blackburn said during a presentation at the June 24 city council meeting. “As far as subject matter, it affects everybody in the community and it’s a subject we can all relate to.”
Blackburn said the hospital art group is considering framed art and decal art to wrap around the walls about a quarter of the way up from the ground.
“The level takes into account people in wheelchairs or on gurneys,” Blackburn said. “It’s better to have the art down at the level of the bed.”
Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said the city’s Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission supports the initiative.
“The commission believes that the installation of art in medical facilities such as the Campbell River hospital has a positive therapeutic value, will make a positive contribution to staff morale and will significantly improve the hospital environment for patients, visitors and staff,” Milnthorp wrote in a report to council.
City council also supports the idea and voted to forward the hospital art proposal to the new public art committee to consider once the committee is formed within the next couple of months.
If approved, Blackburn said the hospital art group wants to begin putting art in the existing hospital as a trial run.
“One of the reasons we are wanting to get on this now is that so when the new hospital is coming online we’ve already got a set of experiments and know what works and what doesn’t,” Blackburn said. “We’ll need to experiment with it. It’s not something you’ll get right the first time.”
Blackburn said the group also plans to use colour schemes as a way of identifying the different wards and hospital departments.
Coun. Andy Adams said the hospital is “quite a maze” and themes and colours would act as a useful guide.