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The Harborview Inaugural Employee Online Art Show debuted on Feb. 8, 2021. This year’s exhibition features more than 115 pieces in mediums including painting, drawing, photography, woodworking, fiber art and more. These pieces were created by over 55 artists who work in all areas of the hospital.

Art history

Harborview has a long history of promoting and cultivating art. Since 1977, the King County Public Art Collection at Harborview has been a source of support and healing and has grown to include over 500 pieces.

The public art collection is a collaboration with the non-profit, 4Culture, that helps curate art for the hospital’s public spaces, specialty clinics and corridors for patients and staff alike to enjoy.

“I see many patients and their families stopped in front of art at Harborview — it takes them away from what’s going on for them in the hospital,” says Tracy Gooding, director of Patient Relations at Harborview.

This year isn’t the first art show that Harborview has held, but it is the first digital show. Gooding says Harborview used to have an employee art show that happened in person every other year for employees and patients to experience. The last one was in the early 2000s and for many employees, this art show feels long overdue.

“At least three times a year, employees ask me when we are going to do another art show,” says Gooding. “When the pandemic hit a lot of the employee engagement activities ended and my team had to come up with events we could do virtually.”

The art show was one of those activities that could easily transfer to an online forum.

Virtual exhibits

Fran Kwak, community outreach coordinator, and Deanna Clark, program coordinator, were the masterminds behind creating the virtual gallery website and curating the submitted art. Since it is online, they were able to accept all forms and mediums from photography and painting to textiles and cake decorations.

“It was so fun to do an old thing in a new way,” says Gooding. “It’s something good that has come out of the pandemic.”

Gooding thinks that for some, art has been an outlet during this stressful time. For others, it’s been about capturing moments of grace.

“In healthcare, you have to be observational, and that comes out when you look at the art submitted,” says Gooding.

Connecting through art

The representation of UW Medicine employees spanned from graduate students, physicians, respiratory therapists, environmental service staff, radiologists and more. It’s easy to get caught up in our units or services — but as Gooding says, “art knows no professional boundaries.”

Some of the art celebrates the everyday moments, some is profoundly personal and some is inspired by working at Harborview and in healthcare.

Enjoy a selection of art from this year’s virtual art show and be sure to check out the full gallery.

“Smith Tower” by Brandi Mitchell, Business Operations Supervisor, Pioneer Square & the Downtown Programs

Smith Tower

“I had just got off the bus and was walking to Pioneer Square when I looked up and noticed the Smith Tower perfectly framed by the colorful clouds.”

“Flames of Resilience” by Johanna Rapport, RN, Acute Care Burn & Pediatric Trauma

painting of flowers

“This piece was inspired by the perseverance of our burn patients and their commitment to healing through the unique challenges of burn care. I hoped to capture the growth and beauty born out of pushing one’s physical and emotional limits to learn how to cope. Acrylic Paint.”

“Psychiatric Problems” by Mike Fleet, LMSW, Social Worker, Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES)

abstract art

“The reason for the name of the piece has to do with the nature of our work in the PES. Patients often arrive to the ED and are triaged to the PES with a presentation of “psychiatric problems”. More often than not the initial specifics of these problems are uncertain. One certainty is the “problem” will be a culmination of the rich and ever-evolving patchwork of our patient’s past experiences. At times these past experiences are in harmony with our current situation, but more often than not we remain in some state of conflict. For many this state of conflict reaches dysfunctional levels. Our patients’ experiences are a reminder that as human beings we are all imperfect, flawed and in a constant state of change. As such, we are all connected, deserving of compassion in times of need. I believe this is one of the core concepts required to provide adequate care to our patients in the PES.”

“Sunrise, 2020” by Anna Callen, Stroke Program Manager, Stroke Center

digital art sunrise

“This was the first digital art piece I gave a shot at last year and I wanted to represent the togetherness and all the differences in all the healthcare professionals. I was inspired by a breathtaking sunrise on my way to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which gave me a sense of hope as well as a sense of loss of ‘normalcy.’ I think it’s important to remind ourselves about the beauty in ordinary things we take for granted.”

“Three Necklaces: Resin, Stone and Clay Beads with Sterling Silver Wire and Chain, 2021” by Rebekah Marsh, Clinical Nurse Educator, Professional Development & Nursing Excellence

three necklaces

“Creative work is a form of meditation for me, with my mind and hands focused yet quiet. Jewelry making is one of many creative outlets that has kept me grounded in 2020.”

View the Full Gallery