Beside Still Water - CODAworx

Beside Still Water

Submitted by William Kolok

Client: Owensboro Health Regional Hospital

Location: Owensboro, KY, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Barbara Harriman

Distinctive Art Source


Anne Kincheloe, Chair


William Kolok


BESIDE STILL WATER – Nurtured by healing water, the tree of life grows strong creating a portal to wellness.
The tree branches from the circle of life into the embracing arms of the hospital community. From these open arms three transcendent birds – the healed body, the peaceful mind, and the lifted spirit poise ready to soar.
This 8 ½‘ bronze sculpture sits on an 18” color impregnated concrete base. A gentle stream of water falls from the foot of the tree into a pool of water. It sits at the entrance to the new Owensboro Health Regional


Sculpture Design Direction
Communication to Kolok from Barbara Harriman, Distinctive Art Source concerning sculpture for new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
“I had the pleasure of spending time on telephone with sculpture donor. She has a beautiful introspective view on hope, healing and community. Talked about her thoughts and ideas for main entry sculpture.

Anne feels true art is purest form of prayer in that it is a reflection of the soul and in order to be true art it had to come from the artist. She did have some concepts on what she would like the sculpture to convey to viewers and community. She said she would like sculpture to portray healing, not just physical healing, healing of the whole person, mind, body and spirit, as well as healing of the physical community. She felt it was important to visualize a sense of hope, beauty, prayer, soulfulness and outreach. “

Sculpture to Represent
• Healing
• Comfort
• Reassurance
• Hope
• Joy
• Soothing water
Sculpture to Be
• Welcoming
• Uplifting/spiritual
• Representational
• Light in mass
• Partially transparent combination of positive and negative space
• Contemporary
Viewers to Feel/ Interpret
• Strength
• Caring
• Connections (hospital/community/family/spiritual)

BESIDE STILL WATER was designed to integrate all the concepts/feelings expressed by donor.


BESIDE STILL WATER was the result of a coming together of creative talent, united effort, clear communication, thought process, hard work, and cooperation of many.
The journey started with Barbara Harriman, Distinctive Art Source, detailing in writing the wishes of the donor which were then passed on to the artist. Kolok, the sculptor, after making maquettes, choose one which he felt embodied the vision of the donor and presented his idea to a committee consisting of the donor, Distinctive Art Source, the COO of the hospital, and the Art Acquisition Committee for Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
Modifications were made in compliance with the wishes of the committee.
Kolok demonstrated his creativity, flexibility and ability to listen spanning a 16 month period during which two major changes were made – changing the location of sculpture and adding a moving water element without losing the integrity of the piece. The guidance, support, expertise and collaborative efforts of Distinctive Art Source; the Art Acquisition Committee; Bright Foundry, Louisville, KY; Flair Fountain, Minneapolis, MN; and KLM, Innovative Healthcare Facility Solutions resulted in the successful completion and installation of BESIDE STILL WATER for Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.

Additional Information

Kolok’s BESIDE STILL WATER dovetails with the written philosophy of Owensboro Health. “The purpose of the artwork is to provide positive distractions to help patients leave the stress of the moment and help them respond better to treatment,” said Cathie Medley, development manager at the Owensboro Health Foundation for Health. Putting the right art in place will support patient care and can lead to shorter hospital stays, Medley said. Studies indicate patients need less medication and exhibit more positive attitudes when exposed to artwork featuring natural surroundings.