Client: Susquehanna Health System
Location: Williamsport, PA, United States
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $90,000
The Art Partnership
Jennifer O'Shea & Courtney Moorhead
Jim McPhilemy, Project Director
This suspended sculpture in the atrium of the new Patient Tower of the Williamsport, Pa. Susquehanna Health System Hospital is 25' H x 70' L x 16' W. It recalls the Susquehanna River flowing through Williamsport in time past as well as in the present. Leaves float by and birds fly over the water, waves shimmer on the surface, and flowing currents curve and cut through the landscape.
It is now common practice to provide art in healthcare facilities. Art is known to be a healing and restorative factor for patients, staff, and visitors, providing a calming influence, visual interest, more rapid healing, and often, hope.
It also provides elegance and conveys a sense of high quality and caring to both the staff, patients, and visitors.
This aerial artwork, sweeping across and up to the second floor and seemingly through the windows, filled a large open void in the atrium, adding interest and volume without disrupting the lines and architecture of the space. It begins out in the entrance corridor, beckoning the visitor to enter into the tall but friendly space.
The art consultant for the new patient tower, Leslie Watkins of The Art Partnership, contacted us about the potential project. She was working with the Foundation of the hospital and the selection committee for art, as well as the designers at Stantec design and engineering consulting company to come up with a solution for the atrium space.
After the selection of Talley Fisher as the artist for this space, she engaged in refining her designs with Jennifer O'Shea. She also worked on engineering solutions to the suspension system with Nick Fazzini of Driscoll Construction, who ultimately provided a suspension system of metal struts with rods hanging through the ceiling tiles, from which the support grids with the sculpture attached to it were hung at a later date.
Most of the planning was done by email, but two or three meetings at the site, with all in attendance, insured that the process went smoothly. The installation took five days, two workers and the artist, and two scissors lifts.
Because our summer studio is on the Susquehanna River only a hour away from this project, Susquehanna Reverie had special meaning and was filled with imagery from my days swimming and floating down this wide river in the mountain valleys of central Pennsylvania.