"Times Flies", a metal sculpture by Bland Hoke. Photo: Courtesy of St. John's

JACKSON, Wyo. — Members of the public got a preview of the Sage Living healing art collection during the new living community’s “Homewarming” celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

While many of us don’t manage to hang our art on the wall until after we move into a new home, the first residents of Sage Living will be stepping into their new homes with the beautiful spaces already completed, including stunning and meaningful pieces of art by celebrated local and regional artists.

“Dandelion Blossom”. Powder-coated steel by Ben Roth. Photo: Courtesy of St. John’s

The Art and Healing Program at St. John’s Health was established in 2016 as a result of JH Public Art consulting with the hospital foundation to update the hospital’s art collection and policies. The goal was to reflect artworks that promoted healing, wellness, and excellence by establishing a process to review works based on evidence-based criteria. The art and healing program today is a collaboration between St. John’s Health Foundation, the Office of Patient Experience, St. John’s Health Art Committee, and the Center for the Arts’ Theater Gallery Program. In 2019, this partnership prepared to explore art options for the forthcoming Sage Living facility at St. John’s Health. As is common in many of our homes, the presence of art would ensure a sense of place and meaning for our residents as they adjust to their new home. With this in mind, the collaborative chose to invite JH Public Art to the table to further elevate their collective expertise.

JH Public Art Director Carrie Geraci put the process in motion and guided St. John’s Health Foundation and a special Sage Living Art Committee through the rigorous process of artist and piece selection. The committee was comprised of St. John’s Health staff, community members, and art professionals, which introduced a balanced diversity of thought as they worked through multiple rounds of thoughtful artist submissions. Pieces were selected based on guidelines established by the Art and Healing Program and were further enhanced by best practices relevant to long-term care and memory care setting. Final selections lead to seven commissioned pieces and over 45 pieces specially created or curated for Sage Living. “It was important to us to have local and regional artists representing a strong sense of place” Blair Christy, Director of Patient Experience shared. “Art has the power to connect people, reduce anxiety, create conversation, and connect one’s memories. In Sage, the art ties the neighborhoods together serves as wayfinding pieces, and creates a home-like feel”.

“The submissions from artist were incredible, heartfelt, and inspiring” John Goettler, President of St. John’s Hospital Foundation stated. “The connection artists felt to this project was strong and it shows in the concepts and pieces they submitted.”

The collection highlights commissioned pieces from Ben Roth, Bland Hoke, Lisa Flowers Ross, Kathryn Mapes, Turner, Katy Ann Fox, Wendell Field and Yulia Avgustinovich. “We are truly grateful to JH Public Art, the Sage Living Art Committee, the artists who designed submissions, and our amazing community for making this dream a reality” Christy shared.

The collection was unveiled at the August 11th Home Warming Event. “I was very touched seeing the art on the walls of Sage Living yesterday. I feel so proud of our work as a committee and it feels really good to know that the residents get to live with such a wonderful, eclectic art collection that represents our incredible community of talented artists.” Maggie Moore, Committee Member shared after visiting the art at Sage Living Home Warming Event on August 11th. Art is on display throughout Sage Living as a part of the St. John’s Health permanent collection. More information, including an art map and full list of artists, will be available soon.