Bartow Medical Center Unveils Artwork From Bartow Mayor’s Art Club
by James Coulter
Patients and their families staying and visiting the Bartow Medical Center often travel up and down the halls of the hospital. Along the way, they usually take time to stop and take a closer look at the nearly two dozen art pieces on display.
Most of these art pieces were created by local middle and high school art students. Each installation was recognized as the Best of Class and inducted into the Bartow Mayor Art Club program.
Being able to see and enjoy so many unique art pieces allows patients to feel better about their stay at the medical center, to the point where they even forget they are staying within a hospital, explained Misty Holland, Director of Patient Services.
“They said it was the best hospital that they have been to because they were able to get out, just walk around, and look at things other than things that reminded them of being in a hospital,” she said. “That is just a small token of what this artwork represents. This artwork is not only for us, but for our patients and their families as they come here.”
More than two dozen of these art pieces were officially unveiled to the public during a reception hosted at the medical center on Monday evening. Many of the students whose artwork is being showcased at the hospital attended that evening along with their parents.
The reception was hosted one week after five art pieces from three local schools were inducted into the Bartow Mayor’s Art Club, with those pieces being installed and displayed within Bartow City Hall for one year.
The 21 art pieces being displayed at the medical center have been obtained over the past several years. Trish Pfeiffer, the city commissioner who helped start the city art program five years ago, was more than pleased by the medical center’s support.
“I could not be more pleased for the turnout,” she said. “When I first came in and saw those on the wall, it took my breath away. This is a phenomenal collaboration between our commission and the hospital. I cannot tell you how much it means for me.”
Pfeiffer mentioned how the art program was started for the express purpose of promoting art and art appreciation within the local community. She commemorated the young artists and their families that evening, encouraging them to continue their love of art, even if art is not their main pursuit.
“You may not do art all your life, it may not be your major, but always be creative and don’t feel like you can’t do something, because you can always do what you have done here and bring the joy like you are seeing right here,” she said. “So even if you are an architect or an engineer or a nurse or whatever, always keep art in your heart, and it will always be a joyful thing for you.”
Khushi Chauhan, 14, from Union Academy Middle School, was one of the students whose art was not only inducted into the Art Club last week, but whose artwork was also showcased at the medical center at the dedication.
Her most curious and surreal art piece portrays a half-cracked egg floating within the center of the universe with several planets and celestial bodies revolving around it like a sun.
She used several different mediums to create her art piece, including watercolor, charcoal, colored pencil, and pen. She went through three rough drafts before settling on the current piece.
Inspired by Salvador Dali, and as someone who loves space, she simply wanted to combine two things that don’t usually belong together to create a creative contrast.
“This came from things that do not go together, and things that are not everyday things you think ever would go together,” she said.
Tanzeela Osmani, 12, also from Union Academy, created a portrait of a peacock with colorful feathers standing before a sunset watercolor backdrop. Both she and her mother love peacocks, so the bird was the most ideal subject for her.
As for being featured at the medical center, she was honored enough to be inducted into the Mayor’s Art Club, so having her artwork displayed at the hospital was a double treat for her.
“It feels different,” she said. “I knew it was going to come here, but I did not know it was going to be on the wall like this, so it is cool, and it certainly feels really different.”
Jaylin Rivera, 13, and also from Union, likewise created a creative piece, a colorful array of bright paint and rolled up tissue paper. Originally, she wanted the design to look more like a flower pot, but what she ended up with proved even better for her.
“It is pretty exciting,” she said when asked about being showcased at the center. As for why she loves art class, she replied: “I love being able to express myself.”
The artwork is on display within the Bartow Medical Center, and is available to look at during normal visitor hours. The center is located at: 2200 Osprey Blvd, Bartow, FL 33830.