Art At Heart is an effort to not only raise awareness and funds for the soon-to-open Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, but also to help foster the East Texas art community. A group of nine area artists were commissioned to customize a fiberglass heart to be auctioned off at the end of the month.
The result was a set of pieces that offer a unique glimpse into each artist’s mind and artistic process.
Derrick White, professor of art at Tyler Junior College, aimed for a design that evoked both the heart in both a literal and figurative sense. White said he wanted to convey a sense of perpetual motion, pulling viewers around the three-dimensional piece.
“I … decided to put some warm colors, colors that reminded me of heat, fire and friction, so reds and yellows. I thought that had more connotations of blood and circulation and passion and the kinds of things that we associate with the heart,” White said. “I brushed on the paint very quickly to the surface, so it’s very gestural and very quick and hopefully it captures the spontaneity of its process. I also included a lot of circles. I think the circle as a shape is a good magnet for holding attention, but then I also think it has connotations of circulation, which I thought was a good fit.”
“Bringing art into the healing environment is one aspect of it, but also taking our mission as providers of health care and bringing healthy lives and healthy lifestyles to the community, the arts are a natural partner in that,” she said. “Physicians talk about the art of medicine or the art of healing, and that word has a lot of connotations to it. They talk about practicing medicine, rather than perfecting it. Medicine is a science, of course, and a very specific and detailed and ever-evolving one, but it’s also an art and the physicians and practitioners of healing, in their own way, have to have their own intuitions and trust their instincts. And I think as a health system it’s our mission to build healthy lives and communities, so if you take that to what we as individuals and towns and communities want to build together, it becomes a holistic approach, I would say.”
To view the pieces, as well as video interviews with each artist, visit www.tmfhs.org/artatheart. Online bidding is going on now and closes on Thursday, Dec. 6. Bidding can be done at biddingforgoo d.com/artatheart.