Client: Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation
Location: Puyallup, WA, United States
Completion date: 2011
Artwork budget: $142,500
Alex Hirsch Art
Presentation Design Group
Clark Kjos Architects
Clark Kjos Architects
Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation (GSHF), Clark/Kjos Architects (CKA), Presentation Design Group (PDG), and I collaborated on developing a signature artwork, Night into Day, that also functions as a donor recognition piece for the lobby of their new state-of-the-art facility. The 9’ x 25’ fused glass imagery travels across a rectilinear format that is back-lit. Donor names are printed on secondary, tempered panels that can be updated regularly without impacting the art. I worked closely with Fireart Glass to fabricate my work. Skanska managed the framing and lighting. Herzog Glass acted as advisors and installed the glass panels.
Early into the design and construction phase, a lead interior architect at CKA had the concept of a backlit, rectilinear form that would double as donor recognition. The architecture firm introduced me to their client, GSFH, to envision, design, and create a custom piece. In turn, GSHF asked me to partner with PDG whereby we would coordinate in the seamless provision of finished art and donor names. It was equally important to the architects that the work belong both within the aesthetics of the site and within the culture of the hospital and the local communities it serves. Integration was central to the process, from concept and design through implementation and reception by donors, patients, staff, and families. When the foundation was under construction, and multiple times thereafter, I visited the site with other members of our team to evaluate scale, lighting requirements, and coordination.
PDG managed regular correspondence between our client, their contractors, and me. As the artist, I coordinated the development of my solutions in consultation with the architects and my fabricators. I also collaborated with the client, my fabricators, the contractors, the architects, and their lighting consultant on the backlighting of the finished artwork. Our entire team – architects, donor recognition, installers, contractors, artist, and fabricator – met occasionally together or in smaller groups to review plans off-site and on-site.
This imagery echoes the regional landscape combined with color elements. Puyallup’s citizens take pride in their locale and were pleased to see it reflected in the art. In my design, I wished to evoke qualities of strength, delicacy, and renewal for people experiencing the gamut of emotions related to accessing healthcare. In consideration of the architectural details, I created sky imagery that echoes shifting views out clerestory windows. My agricultural patterns harmonize with neighboring stone, bamboo, and carpet. The composition reads from a great distance and offers rich details up-close. GSH’s President and my collaborators were delighted with our results.