The healing power of art
Stephanie Graham, Courtny Gerrish
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
CREATED Jun. 26, 2013 WAUKESHA - Waukesha artist Marcia Schneider loves using nature as the subject of her work. “I always loved being outdoors. I even find myself picking up leaves and studying the detail of them." She uses melted wax, rice paper, and paints for her unique creations. Marcia is one of many local artists with their pieces on display at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. It's part of the hospital's renovation project. John Robertstad is President of Prohealth Care Hospital Division. He explains, "You want to make sure you're updated and modern, and for us, you want to make sure you don't have an institutional feel." He adds, "Less stress creates quicker healing, and that's really what we're trying to do here." Jennine Szwalkiewicz has been dealing with some serious health issues for years, and likes the renovations. “Nice to take yourself, take it out of your problems and look at something pretty--life isn't as depressing as my own personal health can be,” she says. 84-year-old Dolores Cassidy used to work at the hospital, and has had 10 children there. She says things have changed a lot through the years. “There's always been changes, but this is the biggest i've ever seen. It's very nice." Marcia's forest painting is on display in the pharmacy. She hopes it helps patients and visitors feel less confined to their rooms. “Visually, when you can bring something that's outdoors and bring it in, I think that's a good thing,” she explains. Waukesha is known for its strong art community, and Marcia is happy that is now being reflected at the community's hospital. “I realized as I started doing more public art projects how much enjoyment I get out of other people enjoying it.” The hospital revitalization project is happening in several phases. A new cafeteria and gift shop were just completed. The next step -- renovate each patient room. The entire project should be wrapped up in a couple years.