Commission Accomplished: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

slippingSHADOWS I by Susan Venable
slippingSHADOWS I by Susan Venable, 2011, steel and copper wire construction with oil and encaustic on panel, 28″ x 84″ x 5″, one of four pieces commissioned for Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA. Photo: Ali Lassoued.

Leah Goodwin and her colleagues at Aesthetics, Inc., have years of experience creating Healing Arts Programs to infuse hospitals and clinics with beauty and comfort. With a core belief that healing environments are sacred spaces, they focus on art that expresses caring, support, and hope.

“”While most of the work commissioned for the hospital was much more realistic, they wanted something unusual and stimulating for this room. As the Board Chair told me, ‘Important decisions are made in this room, and we want something that will stand out and be invigorating.’ It was a nice compliment.” —Susan Venable, artist

But when it came to choosing art for the boardroom at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Goodwin and her clients had a slightly different intent. To support the board’s work, they wanted an environment that would encourage both spirited communication and a sense of shared purpose.

With that goal in mind, Susan Venable was asked to create four closely related wall pieces, enveloping the room and its huge conference table with color and texture. The resulting space is warm, enlivening, and seamlessly coordinated: perfect for focused, healthy meetings. As Goodwin says, Venable’s work “creates a movement and an ambience in the space. This media and color sequences are not usually recommended for other areas of the hospital, where patients and visitors need art that serves to comfort an individual on their healing journey. Here in the boardroom, this art inspires!”

slippingSHADOWS by Susan Venable
slippingSHADOWS by Susan Venable, two of four pieces, east wall. Photo: Ali Lassoued.