New Hospital Will Showcase Local Artists

Arkansas City - South Central Kansas Medical Center and the Burford Center for the Arts announced a joint program to display art in the community by the creation of a "gallery" at the new hospital building, which will open in March 2011. The program is seen as a way to showcase regional artists in a unique setting, reaching many who might never venture into a gallery.

Wall space in the new public cafe, main waiting room, and an administrative hall will provide the backdrop.

"The new hospital is a lovely facility that has a "prairie architecture style, with several large areas that lend themselves as gallery walls," said Steve Perkins, SCKMC CEO.

The collaborative effort is hopeful of attracting artists from the region to this unique opportunity.

"Because the Burford is still under restoration, this program will offer artists an opportunity to present their work as well as make it available for purchase," said Burford Center for the Arts Executive Director, Ellen Snell.

In announcing the program, Perkins said, "The arts in the Cowley community region are vital to our quality of life. We are excited to create this collaborative partnership with the Burford, area artists and the community. It is a way to enrich all our lives."

Artist in Education and Visual Arts Director, Judi Groves, remarked, "Growing research shows that art can play a helpful role in healing. Not only can art be pleasing to patients but also to those who visit them and those who work in the hospital. The opportunity to showcase the work of local and area artists in this setting is both challenging and exciting."

Perkins, Snell, and Groves are joined by Arkansas City Area Arts Board Member, Carol Hearne and SCKMC Chief Marketing Officer, Clayton Pappan in planning for a public call for entries. Selected entries will be determined by a Center for the Arts committee that has been established consisting of active art lovers, who are not artists, to avoid any conflict of interest.