The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has proclaimed April 15 to be World Art Day —a day of celebration to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions, and reinforce the links between artistic creations and society. These goals are more important today than ever before. In conjunction with World Art Day, the Art Committee of York Hospital (comprised of members Cynthia Hosmer, Maryse Newton, Bernadine Speers and Judy Yandow) is pleased to announce the opening of an online Art Gallery at York Hospital!
The Art Committee annually reviews proposals submitted by local artists and selects four finalists to display their artwork in the hospital café for the coming year. While each artist’s work is typically seen by thousands (including patients, visitors, staff, volunteers, and community members who come to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious meals), the café is currently closed for in-house dining due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions.
When the Art Committee and York Hospital leadership recognized that the community could no longer come to see the art, the idea of bringing art to the community via a virtual art gallery was born, and it has now come to fruition.
The four artists selected for this year include watercolorist Cynthia Knowles (April 15 to June 15), whose painting Wiggly Bridge is shown here; photographer Kevin Molloy (June 15 to August 15); architect and watercolorist Stephen Harby (August 15 to October 15); and pastel artist Caroline Kelley (October 15 to December 30).
In addition to showcasing the work of these artists and supporting the sale of their art, the new art gallery will also focus attention on York Hospital’s mission and its COVID-19 Caring for All Fund. A portion of the proceeds from each piece sold will be donated to support this fund. Art Committee Chair Cynthia Hosmer states: “We are so pleased to promote these beautiful works of art to the public again—and to provide inspiration to our frontline medical staff during the pandemic. York Hospital is a special place and an important part of our community, and we’re hopeful that the online gallery will help raise funds during this most challenging time.”
Before the pandemic, York Hospital’s cafeteria was a bustling and cheerful place for staff, volunteers, patients and visitors to gather for meals. One of the reasons for that, according to Director of Dining Services Jorge Descart, is because the hospital sources many ingredients from Maine family farms and is renowned locally for serving delicious lobster rolls, decadent desserts made daily, and fresh chowder every Friday. The dining room still prepares a full menu of delicious meals for inpatients, to-go meals for staff, and hundreds of meals every week for housebound older adult community members, delivered to their doors by a corps of volunteer drivers. Still, Descart shares a heartfelt sentiment, “We really look forward to welcoming our community back to the cafeteria as soon as we can.”
York Hospital’s Interim Chief Nursing Officer and former Director of Emergency and Surgical Services Charity Neal adds that she misses being able to gather with colleagues in the cafeteria. “I used to find it very relaxing to see the beautiful artwork when I grabbed a quick lunch,” Neal said. “The landscapes and images were calming and peaceful after spending a busy day in the emergency room.”
Until the York Hospital cafeteria reopens to the public, you can view the artwork virtually 24/7 and enjoy a few moments of peace and calm, from the convenience of home or wherever access to the internet exists. To learn more about watercolor artist Cynthia Knowles and experience her art, please visit the York Hospital Art Gallery at https://www.yorkhospital.com/online-art-gallery/.
For more information about York Hospital’s online Art Gallery or to find out how to donate to the COVID-19 Caring For All Fund, please contact Community Relations at 207-351-2385 or [email protected].