"Art of Healing" University Health System

Submitted by Leticia Huerta

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Client: University Health System

Location: San Antonio, TX, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Leticia Huerta

Client

University Hospital Systems

Architect

Perkins+Will

Landscape Architect

Kimberley M. Wolf

RVK Architects

Art Consultant

Allison Hays Lane

Olana Group LLC

Overview

The Pedestrian Experience Project at University Hospital promotes healing, hope and comfort. A sculptural element from a healing plant is incorporated into the fountain. This piece reminds that nature can heal us with it beauty, natural properties and its chemistry. Benches are metaphors for resting and renewal. A healing plant, Salix alba, served as the design for the benches. Limestone blocks throughout the landscape utilize plant imagery to promote feelings of calm and healing. At the Jardin, a healing garden dedicated to my mother that maintained one at home to heal minor problems.

Goals

This project called for integrating artwork into the existing architectural elements in the Pedestrian Experience at University Hospital. I worked on various elements such as the benches that were installed throughout the walkways. The artwork is meant to promote nurturing feelings to those that walk by on their way to the hospital. The most visible component at the crossing of the two walkways that lead to the trauma center is the fountain. It is situated in a place that makes it a focal point, a metaphorical crossroads. At this fountain, a sculptural element from a healing plant is incorporated into the fountain. Large limestone blocks were placed in the green spaces as an architectural design. I used these blocks to continue the idea of healing plants in the history of medicine. At the downtown campus a terrazzo design was installed in the children's medical floor that quotes a Spanish saying used to soothe children when they are sick.

Process

I collaborated with Perkins Wills Architecture on integrating the public art into their design for the pedestrian experience component of this project during the design and construction phases. In the Jardin, I collaborated with the landscape architect, Kimberley M. Wolf with RVK Architects to integrate "My Mother's Garden" into the Jardin that RVK designed.

Additional Information

My fabricators were Nicomia LLC (benches), Industrial Stainless International (fountain sculpture), Venice Art Terrazzo (terrazzo floor) and Southwest Monument and Sign (sandblasted and stained limestone blocks).