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Art Chosen for New Hospital

By Tricia Schug

When the two phases of the new Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital are complete in 2020, the work of dozens of local and regional artists will help to create a more soothing and healing environment for patients and their families.

Thanks to generous donations made to the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation by members of the local community, the hospital purchased 56 new pieces of art. An additional 72 pieces were also donated by artists and patrons. The vast majority of artists whose work was purchased reside in Lincoln County.

“The hospital’s art selection committee was very clear from the beginning that we wanted to support local artists as much as possible, and with so many talented artists here in the county, it wasn’t hard to adhere to that goal,” said Ursula Marinelli, executive director, PCHD Foundation. 

Of the 31 artists whose work was purchased, all but four live within the county. Selected artists include: Lynn Bishop, Scott Blackman, Sharon Cook, Susan Curington, Walter Duvall, Richard Erikson, Susan Farnham, Chuck Forinash, Michael Gibbons, Michael Guerriero, Philip Gutt, Sylvia Hosie, Ivan Kelly, Teresa Kowalski, Richard Laycock, Chinh Le, Robin Longerbeam, John McClellan, Kim Mobley, Marion Mohr, Marty Ondricka, Andrew Palmer, Ram Papish, Eric Paukstaitis, Monte Shelton, Nora Sherwood, Jennifer Smith, Carol Summers, Linda Thompson, JoHanna Wiernert and Thom Zehrfeld.

The following artists donated work to the collection: Scott Blackman, Susan Curington, Darlene Detienne, Walter Duvall, Rita Frank, Michael Gibbons, David Larsen, Robin Longerbeam, John McClellan, Kim Mobley, Marion Moir, Pam Parker, Fred Schneider, Edee Steckler, Sal Strom, Joan Truckenbrod. Additional artwork has been donated by patrons.

Selected work encompasses a range of media, including oil and acrylic painting, watercolor, photography, pastel drawings, fused glass, serigraphs, silkscreen, glass mosaic and more.

A major emphasis of the SPCH art selection committee was to choose artwork that would support the healing process. Increasingly, art in the health care setting is considered a vital aid to healing. 

According to the National Organization for Arts in Health, evidence-based research shows how visual art, particularly that which depicts nature images, can soothe patients by reducing stress, distracting them from their conditions, easing pain, decreasing anxiety, and ultimately, can shorten hospital stays.

Much of the art work selected for the new hospital depicts images from the natural world, as well as familiar icons of the Central Coast.

“Coastal residents who find themselves in the hospital will see many familiar images in the art, such as the ocean, coastal landscapes, fishing boats, and the iconic Yaquina Bay bridge,” said Marinelli. “The committee wanted people who use the hospital to feel comfortable in the new space.”

In addition to the new art purchases and donations, the hospital’s current art collection will also be moved into the new space. All told, the hospital will have close to 200 pieces of artwork in its collection.

Art was purchased as a part of the PCHD Foundation’s $1 million campaign for equipment and art, including framing and installation, in the new hospital. Donations are still needed to reach this goal. If you’d like to contribute to this project, you can donate online from the Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation page. 

For more information about the campaign, contact Marinelli at 541-574-4745 or