Three Deep Breaths, Oak Savanna Mural - CODAworx

Three Deep Breaths, Oak Savanna Mural


Client: UW Health at the American Center Hospital

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $30,000

Project Team


Barbara Westfall

Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design

Art Consultant

Mandy Kron

UW Health Art Consultants


Alan Meyer

Findorf & Sons Construction

Water jet-cut stone

Tyce Shirley

Quarra Stone


Media: Fused glass, granite, carved wood and paint. Partnering with Flad Architects and UW Health Art Consultants, Barbara Westfall Art Glass designed and built a multi-media mural for the Emergency Room lobby at the new UW Health American Center Hospital. The mural is inspired by Wisconsin’s rivers and oak savannas. The six foot long meandering river is made from colorful fused glass, the oak tree is hand-carved from Baltic birch and the stone is Wisconsin red granite which was custom water-jet-cut to fit snuggly in the trees roots. Surrounding the savannah are native prairie and woodland plants made from glass and willow. As patients arrive to the ER they are greeted by the soothing imagery, colors and textures of a beloved Wisconsin habitat. The title, Three Deep Breaths, is a reminder that breathing slowly can help calm the mind and body during times of stress.


The goals were to create a large-scale public art mural for the Emergency Room lobby, with a theme of a Wisconsin native habitat, the oak savanna. It was important that the mural incorporate natural materials, including wood, stone and glass. The mural was built in three sections for ease in transporting and installing. It measures 12' wide x 5.5' high and projects 3" off the wall. The wood backing is painted to depict a blue sky and provides the base for the large tree and fused glass lake.


The art consultant, architect and artist collaborated together in a series of meetings on the design, colors and materials used. Material samples were put forth and examined, scale drawings with elevations were uploaded into architectural drawings using AutoCAD. The project was brought to life in four months and installed successfully into the lobby.