Be Part of the Art

Turn ‘bowling alley’ into gallery
May 11th, 2016

A long, lackluster hallway – a passageway used by hundreds of patients and visitors who come to Memorial Hospital Central – is about to get a creative makeover.

“Be Part of the Art’’ is an art project created by Memorial employees to enhance the look and feel of the long hallway that employees often refer to as the “bowling alley.’’

Employees are encouraged to express themselves through art on a 3.5-inch-square card as part of festivities for Hospital Week. The cards will be threaded together and displayed in the hallway – serving as a visual reminder for patients and visitors of the commitment of employees to excellent patient care.

“We want to bring that hallway to life and to highlight patient and staff engagement,’’ said the Rev. Nathan Mesnikoff, director of Spiritual Care at Memorial.

Mesnikoff said he’s been working with Kay Miller, chief nursing officer at Memorial, on the project. Miller has participated in a similar project at another hospital.

The Rev. Nathan Mesnikoff, director of Spiritual Care for Memorial Hospital, stands in a long corridor at Memorial Hospital Central. Mesnikoff is spearheading an art project to creatively decorate the hallway with employee art.

“There is an interesting metaphor here. The fact is that each of us have these pieces that we contribute, but when we put them all together they turn into something rather glowing – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’’ Mesnikoff said.

More than 400 cards have already been distributed and Mesnikoff has crayons and colored pencils for use, though employees are encourage to create in any medium – pastels, charcoal, pen and ink, watercolor, etc. Employees can write a single word on the card, or a short phrase – or simply draw a picture.

“It’s very open. The idea behind all of this is for you to express how you feel about your work. This is not about who is the best artist; it’s about expressing yourself and having a good time. You don’t have to worry if you are not Picasso,’’ Mesnikoff said.

Ron Rubin, development manager for the Memorial Hospital Foundation, said he plans to do calligraphy of UCHealth’s Mission: We improve lives.

“I’m happy to help with the tile project in any way that I can,’’ Rubin said.

He’s done calligraphy on a few projects, including invitations for his daughter’s wedding.

“I don’t draw very well, but I can print,’’ Rubin said.

Mesnikoff said his plan is to post the final artwork in the main hallway at Central and an appropriate location at North. It will blend into the overall goal of the hallway, which is to highlight Memorial’s Professional Practice Model. The model symbolizes Memorial’s beliefs, values, theories and systems for nursing.

“I’m looking forward to featuring the various elements of the Professional Practice Model in that hallway,’’ Mesnikoff said. “There will be different sections that correspond to the different elements in the model.’’

The art will enhance the appearance of the hallway and serve as a visual escort through the corridor.

“If we have sections, it will draw people through. People will get a sense that they are not just walking down this endless hallway, but seeing different things as they go. It will create more of a sense of movement and help people through that space,’’ Mesnikoff said.

Cards are available during the morning Safety Briefing in the Pyramid Room at MHC, at Central’s spiritual care office on the second floor, and in the chapel at Memorial Hospital North.

Employees are encouraged to write their names and their unit numbers on the back of the cards.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different cards. I know we are a creative bunch and will make something truly beautiful and unique—just like we do every day,” Mesnikoff said.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.