About the Project
It all began when the Lawrence Group, an integrated planning, design, architecture, and construction firm, wanted to commission a specific work of art for their client, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City The piece of art had to accomplish a lot. First, they wanted the art to honor the Catholic Heritage of St. Mary’s Hospital. They also wanted it to tie into the architecture and interior design as well as the surrounding nature of the hospital. Lastly, they asked that the piece remain meaningful and appealing to the larger public. ARCH Design proposed local artist Michael Bauermeister to create an installation of carved wood panels to achieve these goals. (source)
About the Art
The hand-carved painted panels represent a literal and symbolic focus on the importance of roots — both of the organization’s religious heritage and those of the building’s ground floor diverging out to different areas of care.
The resulting artwork symbolically expresses the notion of individuals extending care into the wider community. For some, the sculpture may symbolize the Biblical Tree of Life, while others may be reminded of the deep, verdant green of Missouri forestry.
In addition, the client wanted to incorporate the inspirational saying: “Like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, but our roots remain as one.” Bauermeister’s installation underscores this idea, as it consists of several separate panels that span two walls but are unified by a single subject. The many hand-carved marks could symbolize the idea of individuals as part of a larger community.
About the Artist
Drawing inspiration for his art from the very woods surrounding the hospital, artist Michael Bauermeister was an optimal choice for this commission.
A resident of nearby Augusta, Missouri, he uses reclaimed wood from cities and enacts a metaphorical return to nature by using it as the building blocks of his art. Known widely for his hand-carved wood sculptures, Bauermeister demonstrates a connection with nature in each of his creations, making him an optimal choice for this project.
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City
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“Commissioned Art – Michael Bauermeister – SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.” ARCH Design, 20 Apr. 2021, arch-design.com/commissioned-art-michael-bauermeister-ssm-st-marys-hospital/.
Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff