June 24th, 2016
I had been invited to speak at the art show and reception at the Southern Vermont Art Center, celebrating the purchase of the last paintings for the last hospital – the Southwestern Vermont Heath Center (Click HERE to watch the video). The SVHC event organizer, Ashley Jowett picked me up at the lovely old Inn in Manchester where we were staying, and drove me to the venue. It was a rainy day and as we wound our way up the mountain road to the Center, I glimpsed statues of all sorts in the field at the base of the hill and scattered through the dripping woods: a larger-than-life shiny metal horse, oddly shaped metal tubes, a twisted black metal wire sculpture of fighting wolves.
We arrived at a clearing in the woods where several frame buildings stood in a circle, and Ashley dropped me off at the center one. Lining the walls of the hallway and on the brightly lit stage in the barn-like auditorium, were the one hundred pieces of original art that had been selected by a jury of artists, healthcare and hospital professionals. Fifty-four will be placed in rooms at SVHC, and the rest were available for sale to benefit the Art Center – a win-win for the patients, their families and the artists of Vermont.
I was in awe. When you write a book you never know the impact it will have – the words could just disappear into the ether. But here was a project that took my words and put them into practice across a whole state. Completely mind-blowing!
To be continued…