Honored & Humbled

Last night I attended the artist reception at the Avera Prairie Center.  The reception was a fun, educational and humbling experience.   This reception was for the artist that have work on display for the Art of Healing exhibit as well as this years Avera Sculpture walk.  When I arrived I was greeted by a small group of Avera employees with big smiles and was shown where the food and beverages were.  I got to meet a few of the other artist with work on display as I mingled amongst the people.  This was the first time I had a chance to see my photo in the center.

After about an hour Dr. Dave Kapaska gathered everyone together for quick speech.  He talked about the artwork and how Avera believes in the healing power of art.  He went on to talk about how in planning the Prairie Center patients and former patients were asked for their input. What they would like to see, what they wanted in the hospital and what inspired them.  This was truly humbling.  From what Dr Kapaska said and what I saw it seems that calming spaces with interesting textures, art and decor along with places for patients, families and friends to sit and talk quietly or just be alone were common.  Little things like having stairs as well as elevators so when someone is having a good day or gets good news they can walk and leap down the stairs instead of riding the elevator.  Throughout the evening I heard from more than one of the Avera staff that artwork that is fun, uplifting and thought provoking is not only appreciated by the patients but they tell the Doctors, nurses and staff this.

At one point I was asked what made me submit a piece to this exhibit.  I can honestly say the main reason is that I wanted to make someone's day a little brighter for even a moment.  Like most people I have known a close friends who have gone through cancer and other life threatening illnesses.  Most have made it through through but some fought like hell and still lost.  The ones that have made it have told me that its the little things that would get them through the day.  It might be a painting in a hallway one day, a kind word from a stranger or a bird sitting outside their window the next.  I feel honored and humbled to have the opportunity to play a small part in brightening someones day that needs a lift.  If one person smiles because of a photo I took then that is a reward that cannot be measured.

If you want to see the amazing work you can go to the Prairie Center and check out the Community Digital Art Gallery as well as the sculpture walk.  It is well worth it.


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