Healing Wall Sculpture

Submitted by Matthew Placzek

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Client: Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

Location: Omaha, NE, United States

Completion date: 2017

Project Team

Architect

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Healing Arts Program

Artist

Matthew Placzek

Overview

The “beauty of nature” is the inspiration behind two wall sculptures featured in the new Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, in Omaha, Nebraska. Both pieces are located in the lobby of the center. Two 28-foot long sculptures grace the main level: “Spring Sonata-Iris Garden”, a painted metal, acrylic and LED sculpture, includes 24 hand sculpted acrylic iris flowers, and two stainless steel and acrylic butterflies. “Colors of the Prairie”, a painted metal Grassland and Butterfly Sculpture, includes five LED back lit, stainless steel and acrylic butterflies, and features aluminum blades of native grasses that represent the changing seasons.

Goals

To best highlight the center’s theme of healing through art, we wanted the surgical center’s visitors to be transported to a garden filled with Irises (Spring Sonata-Iris Garden), feeling the peaceful, reflective sense of nature and be inspired by the colorful native grasses and butterflies (Colors of the Prairie). Renewal and rejuvenation are symbolized by these sculptures through the balance of nature, the soft colors of the sculptures, and the composition of the work.

Process

Placzek Studios enjoyed an outstanding collaborative experience with the newly formed Healing Arts Program and HDR architects. Matthew worked closely with the Healing Arts director, Amy Jenson, to create works of art that bring a fresh sense of healing and hope. They organized presentations with the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Board of Directors, served as site coordinators, and oversaw drawings and installation. The coordination between the artist, contractor, architect and Medical Center was seamless.

Additional Information

“The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is creating a place of continued innovation, holistic healing and an environment that serves patients beyond their expectations,” said Gail Yanney, MD, Healing Arts Program committee member. For instance, the Healing Arts Program will feature pieces of original works of art that will reflect a diversity of cultures and perspectives; create an oasis of calm that provides pleasant distractions from the anxiety of visits and treatments; and provide patients, staff and visitors opportunities for introspection that will motivate, rejuvenate and build endurance to fight against cancer on all fronts.