Beginning April 9, 2018, the installation of over 220 pieces of artwork will take place at the new Kaiser medical office building in Santa Rosa. The three floors will include 21 local artists along with artists from around California and the country.
Throughout the facility, patients will see an extensive selection of original giclee pieces; original paintings; a commissioned 11-foot marble sculpture; a commissioned metal sculpture; a commissioned textile art piece; an educational display about Santa Rosa farmers’ markets and Sonoma County farms, student artwork from Roseland Creek Elementary School, a large display of Latin American artwork and more.
The project management, curating, commissioning and design of all the art in this new addition to the Kaiser campus was done by Art Consulting Services (ACS).
“We have several different mediums — photography, paintings, metal, prints, ceramic artists — it’s going to be a fun collection. People will really enjoy all the stuff they see,” said Kira Stewart, Principal of ACS.
ACS has been working with the Sonoma County artists and Kaiser to bring this project to life since July 2017. Lead designer Myrna Vasquez and Stewart screened hundreds of regional and local artists and partnered with Roseland Creek Elementary.
“First, we started off with all the artists we’ve been recruiting over the years and we looked at our database and referred back to artists from (Sonoma County). Then, as we were going through the process with the client and advisors they provided a list of artists they had gathered, which we also reached out to. From there we made sure it worked with the environment,” Vasquez said.
They also worked extensively with the Kaiser leadership team, a group of patient advisors and Santa Rosa architectural and interior design firm Hawley Peterson Snyder to pull together the project.
“Kaiser is a supporter of always wanting to use as many local artists as they can in their projects,” Stewart said. “That’s why the art selection committee included three patient advisers. We had project managers in the room, all the normal folks that would help decide these things and then Kaiser brought in three volunteer patients who have an art background and deep roots in the community to help be that voice.”
While there isn’t a strict theme, Vasquez says the aesthetic needs of patients were the unifying criteria for the art selected.
“We definitely wanted the artwork to have a healing feeling,” she said, “that it incorporated nature and that it was art that focused on local scenery like vineyards and landscapes that could be recognizable for the local community. We certainly wanted it to be cheerful and bright as well.”
“One of the most exciting things for us was Kaiser has a really forward thinking vision,” Stewart said. “They are constantly pushing the envelope of what is accepted or trendy and wanting to be the leaders in what the healthcare experience is next, not just with art but with everything the patient experiences.
“The way that affects the art is, they pushed us to bring things in that were more abstract, a little more contemporary and have a combination of things that were beautiful and optimistic but a big enough variety of styles. We also had to consider art for the pediatric space as well. It was definitely a great challenge to find the balance,” Stewart finished.
Windsor artist Thomas Creed had his landscape “Coastal Mountain Oak” selected. “It is encouraging to see Kaiser recognize and invest in the unique beauty of our local landscape, so I am very excited and honored to be selected as part of the Kaiser art collection,” Creed said in an email.
According to a statement, the new Kaiser medical office building will be 87,300 square feet and will be located at 2240 Mercury Way in Santa Rosa. It will house offices and 102 exam rooms for primary care, pediatrics, OBGYN, podiatry, dermatology, clinical lab, imaging, pharmacy and various support functions.
The building’s size and number of pieces required to fill the space, also drove some of the art selection. “We had a three story building to fill, and the budget wouldn’t allow for us to spend $5,000 for a (small) painting,” Stewart said. “It was a matter of what an artist had available, or if they were willing to be commissioned, and then the appropriateness of their work in a medical environment.”
Kaiser has purchased all the art pieces and they will not be available for sale, but if someone falls in love Stewart has made sure it’s easy to find the artist.
“We do a plaque by every piece that has the artist’s name and their town, so it’s really easy if you see something you like, to look them up online and make direct contact,” she said. “We are always ready to help that along.”
Art installation will take place over four days, beginning April 10. The building will be open to the public in May.