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Baptist Hospital Art

Baptist Hospital Art Project

Baptist Hospital is the largest not-for-profit community hospital in Middle Tennessee, licensed for 683 acute and rehab care beds.  The main campus covers nearly two million square feet and spans more than six city blocks.  It is part of Ascension Health which is the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system.  They serve patients through a network of hospitals and related health facilities providing acute care services, long-term care, community health services, psychiatric, rehabilitation and residential care.

With over 7,000 babies delivered every year, Baptist Hospital’s Child Birth Center delivers more babies than any hospital in Middle Tennessee.  The facility includes 22 delivery beds, 60 post partum beds, 22 ante partum beds, 27 NICU beds and a family learning center.

Lin Swensson was hired by Baptist Hospital to create a nurturing birthing environment for women of various cultures and economic backgrounds through the use of visual art.  This was an existing facility that had recent renovations.  There were existing alcoves allowing for art placement.  Interior finishes, furnishing and lighting had been predetermined.  This allowed pieces to be custom-made to fit the existing décor.

To establish the vision, meetings were lead by Lin Swensson and held with the hospital’s assigned staff.  This group consisted of Baptist Hospital administration, the director of nursing, nursing staff, attending physicians, and the public relations and business development departments.

It was the consensus of this group that the art should follow these criteria:

  1. The images will be inclusive; holistic with a spiritual quality; supportive of various cultures, economic backgrounds and family diversity.
  2. That this facility served women who may have still births and other complications associated with birth.  Images were to focus on a celebration of the female form, feminine interests, creation, family, union, love and growth.
  3. That the artwork was to support and be an accent to the already determined aesthetics of the interior and architectural environment.
  4. That all the art be original works created by women who lived
    in Tennessee.
  5. That the artwork be appropriate; creating a sense of calm
    and joyfulness.

After completing the establishment of the vision and goals, a documentation of the current site condition was taken.  Lin identified areas where art would work successfully with attention to the traffic flow of the working hospital, staff expectations, existing budget
and deadlines.

After the presentation of a conceptual design for the space, a budget forecast was produced and agreed to in contract form.  The process for selection of the individual pieces of work was delegated to a team which the hospital selected.  Lin presented artists whose work and artistic philosophy followed the criteria previously established.  Interviews with artists of interest included slide presentations of their work and site visits to their studios.

After the selection of art, a schedule for delivery and installation was negotiated with the hospital.  With sensitivity to the day-to-day movement of a working hospital, the art was installed as the artists completed commissioned works.  The art was installed in two to three hour increments so as to not disturb hospital operations.  All art was securely hung with framing appropriate to the
healthcare environment.

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