Client: SSM Health
Location: Saint Louis, MO, United States
Completion date: 2020
Art Committee Chair
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
Full art package with nature-inspired artworks. More than 115 pieces were commissioned based on the theme of various landscapes at the Missouri Botanic Garden. Each floor of the 10-floor tower was defined by large-scale photographs illuminated on glass panels to serve as wayfinding for patients and guests. Rather than simply repeating the theme of each floor’s main image, other artists on the floor used tertiary and analogous color palettes to create continuity yet express diversity.
One of the largest art pieces in this project is the atrium sculpture entitled “Not Fade Away” by Rachel Hayes who was unanimously selected by the committee. Reminiscent of quilts and stained glass, it embraces the sun’s changing light throughout the day and reveals new views of the surrounding landscape depending on where the viewer is standing.
“The Five,” by Jeff Waggoner, is an iconic outdoor sculpture at the tower’s entrance. The columns inspired by electrophoresis, ranging in size from 12 to 20 feet, required extensive organization, as on-site cranes and flatbed trucks were needed to move and lift the heavy columns into place. Four colorful powder-coated columns and one bare steel stand-alone column signify the community working together toward a common goal of unity.
1. Themes for each floor relate to botanical gardens found nearby.
2. Prefer Missouri-centric artists either by birth, residence, or education.
3. Include artwork of a wide variety of medium.
4. Use art to gracefully assist with wayfinding.
The lead interior designer identified the themes for the project. PS gathered and guided stakeholders from the architecture firm and health networks to make decisions about the specifics.
After five years in the works, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital opened its 10-story patient tower in September 2020. The hospital’s art committee and interior designer collaborated with PS Art Consulting from the beginning to create a diverse and engaging art program in the public spaces of this state-of-the-art facility. Committed to art not as an afterthought but as a powerful driving force in the healing and calming of all who enter, PS Art Consulting used the interior’s wood and copper materials as a neutral backdrop for more than 115 bold-colored pieces created exclusively by Missouri artists. Our goal, in any setting but especially in healthcare, is to show the power of art — to speed healing, lessen anxiety, provide distraction, and bring joy. This project was an exceptional collaboration that brought the hospital’s vision to life, all carried out in a smooth process that creatively met budgets, schedules, and ensured ease and accessibility for the art’s maintenance.