Art is part of the healing that happens at HealthPartners’ Neuroscience Center
Each therapeutic piece was chosen with purpose
The new HealthPartners Neuroscience Center is hard to miss with its curved and windowed façade. In fact, it stands out on Phalen Boulevard in St. Paul almost like a work of art.
But the outside isn’t the only part of the building with artistic flair.
The center is designed so that natural sunlight fills the inside. And that highlights the many pieces of original art that are displayed there. Visual art has the power to create warmer, friendlier healing spaces. It can reduce stress. It is ideal for those going through difficult times. And it can even spark creativity and provide inspiration.
The pieces at the center range from pastels to sculptures. Each tells a different story. Yet all were created and chosen especially for the needs of patients.
We asked a few artists what makes their pieces therapeutic. Here’s what they said:
“For patients with cognitive and physical challenges, the design is meant to spark imaginations and recall memories of birds in flight or schools of fish. It’s hoped this imagery might evoke a sense of freedom, and feelings of belonging and connecting.” – artist Daniel Goldstein
Where to find it: Main staircase
“Emerging, Valentine, Interrupted, Becoming” (Brain Scan Series)
“My diagnosis [with Multiple Sclerosis] has allowed me to integrate neurotechnology into my artwork. I transform my scans into vibrant landscapes in hopes of challenging how society views illness. I create with the intent of transforming how people view the imperfect body, allowing room for celebration, curiosity, and fascination.” – artist Elizabeth Jameson
Where to find it: Conference room
Bioverse No. 4
“I create paintings of micro and macroscopic nature hidden from the naked eye. The layered interconnectivity that could represent origins of life in our bodies, a droplet from pond water or cosmic systems in space. I see and explore the grecontiat connection. I hope when people look at my paintings, they realize that what they are seeing represents what cannot be seen without a microscope or telescope.” – artist Betsy Stewart
Where to find it: Front entryway
Donum Vitae (Gift of Life)
“’Donum Vitae’ is about life, imagination and memories. All paintings are created from memories carried on the wings of imagination and fabricated with the tools at hand. From childhood, my mother introduced me to the beauty of nature. And I have spent my lifetime fascinated by water's ever-changing wonder.” – artist Frederick D. Somers
Where to find it: Lower level waiting area
Stepping Stones and Agates
“For the first two to three years, you’re learning how the glass moves and how to not drip it on the floor. It’s a difficult medium to learn. But it is my passion. I love it and I live it. I could do it all day, every day.” – artist Tim McFadden
Where to find it: Ginkgo Café
A special thanks to Dorsey Hovde Art Design, who was the curator of these art pieces.
More about the development of the HealthPartners Neuroscience Center
The Neuroscience Center opened to patients and their families in April 2017. It’s a 130,000 square-foot building with 5 stories. And it took almost two years of construction, hard work and input to build.
Much of this input came from the Neuroscience Patient and Family Advisory Council. This council is a group of patients and family members. They helped inform how the center could best serve those who come to it for care.
“Being surrounded by artwork can have an amazing, positive effect on our brains. It raises our spirits. And that makes it a tremendous gift for patients,” council member Mary Margaret said. Her husband has Alzheimer’s disease and sees our specialists for care.
The council came up with a way to label the waiting areas so they would be easy to remember. They gave ideas on how each exam room could best be set up for patient education. And they weighed in on the center’s tools and technology. These include advanced MRI and X-ray equipment, a therapeutic swimming pool and access to clinical trials.