SPAULDING REHABILITATION HOSPITAL Charlestown, MA
A Leading Edge Program: As part of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's transition to a new, leading-edge facility, Boston Art was engaged to provide a comprehensive art program that would showcase the striking architecture of the new building. We worked with Spaulding to develop a program composed of both high-impact and traditional works that would provide inspiration and energy in a facility where patients typically spend several weeks or more in rehabilitation programs. The final program ranges from landmark sculptural works that animate the exterior of the building to the Peace Gallery, a rotating gallery of works created by Spaulding patients.
Picture Perfect: A number of works in the collection speak directly to the patient experience. From paintings of boats near the aquatic rehabilitation area to a custom woven map of the city tracing the hospital's move to the Boston Harbor site, these works are deeply integrated with the facility's daily life. Highlights include a group of wildlife sculptures on the grounds that many patients use to gauge their progress as they recover their ability to walk (today, the sandpiper; tomorrow the turtle).
A Walk Along the Water: The fist thing one sees upon entering Spaulding is a large, luminous mosaic composed of thousands of tiles of laminated, hand-blown glass. THe result of months-long collaboration between the artist, architect, and our consultants, Water Walk makes an immediate and powerful statement about the mission of the hospital and its compassionate approach to care. The glass tiles mirror viewers as they pass by, creating a sense of depth and connection, while delicate blues and greens echo the shifting and shimmering waters of the harbor just outside the hospital's doors.
More than Meets the Eye: The art program we established for Spaulding --which spans more than 150 works -- was carefully curated to ensure that the works chosen would engage a broad population encompassing patients, staff, and visitors. Working in close collaboration with the Hospital's administrators, we identified and acquired works that would animate, motivate, and bring a sense of vibrancy and fearlessness into the space as a way of helping to support patients on their journey to recovery. A spirit of resiliency and tenacity was supported by including works in the program that were created by people with disabilities: one work was created by a blind artist (Ohio, mixed media on canvas) and another by an artist who paints with the wheels of his wheelchair. Other pieces showcase the dynamism of the human form--an approach not typically found in a hospital setting -- in ways that speak to the strength of the body and its capacity to heal.