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‘I want people to be inspired’: St. Charles Bend revives Art in the Hospital, exhibiting works of local artists

(Update: Adding video, comments from supervisor of guest service)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- A St. Charles Bend in-house program known as Art in the Hospital, dormant since before the COVID-19 pandemic, has been revived, thanks largely to the efforts of Lee Copeland, the hospital's supervisor of guest services.

The current installation of wildlife photography can be viewed near the entrance to the cafeteria, where it wraps around toward the elevators on the hospital’s second floor.

"I want to do the best that we can do. I want people to be inspired," Copeland said Wednesday.

With a goal of using local professional artists to create a cohesive program, Copeland visited area galleries and “looked at a lot of art,” she said. The first to accept her invitation to participate was Dawn Emerson, a Terrebonne artist whose art is displayed at the Peterson Contemporary Art gallery in Bend. She contributed pieces inspired by an article Emerson read about circuses no longer using elephants as part of their shows.

“Contemporary art isn't for everybody,” Copeland said, “but I know the bright colors were a welcome sight after years with blank walls.”

The latest installation features wildlife photography by Sue Dougherty of Off Leash Photography, a well-known former veterinarian in town who won the 2020 Audubon Award for Best Professional Photographer Picture. The theme is “fall/winter,” with photos taken in Alaska, British Columbia, Yellowstone National Park and Sunriver.

"I just want to bring something that can focus people's attention on something beautiful and something that involves humans that is good, that shows the positivity that we can create." she said.

All of the art is for sale, with contact information posted next to each piece, and there are also card packs and calendars of the art available in the Gift Store.

However the viewer engages with the art, Copeland believes the program can provide patients, visitors and caregivers with more than just something to look at as they move through the hospital.

“Whether you’re dealing with tragedy and loss, a stressful situation or just the everyday grind of life, seeing the beauty that can be created by humans is inspirational,” she said. “It's invigorating and is a catalyst to becoming your best self.”

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Isabellahere.


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