The St. Anthony Walk of Art
Photos courtesy of Jessica Ensslen
“Art creates the beauty that can reduce anxiety and inspire hope. The possibilities for healing are multiplied when this happens.” - Ginny Scalzo, Art commissioner for St. Anthony Hospital
The St. Anthony Walk of Art features one-of-a-kind artworks that support and enhance the hospital’s overall healing environment. The original paintings, sculptures and other unique pieces promote the health of the mind, body and soul. This art collection, funded by the Franciscan Foundation’s Campaign for St. Anthony, is featured throughout the hospital and includes pieces that capture the spirit of the Northwest.
Ten local artists were commissioned to create original pieces in bronze, basalt, cast glass, oil-on-canvas and other media, creating an art collection unique to St. Anthony.
Artwork on the Ground Level
Earl and Floyd Willits
Donor: Stirrett-Johnsen, Inc
The Willits brothers worked from Day Island in Tacoma, and over the course of 50 years built 1,000 canoes. Each one is considered a unique work of art. This canoe was built in 1954 of red cedar; the seats are made from spruce. The remaining Willits Canoes are treasured pieces of Northwest history.
Carolyn Watts — Oil on Canvas
Watts paints with her hands using oil paint mixed with a wax medium. Watts lives in Port Townsend and found inspiration for this piece from the complexities of tangled seaweed.
Doug Granum — Jade, Semi-Precious Stones
Jadegg is the center of a three-piece sculpture symbolizing the beauty of life's renewal in our healing garden. The elements represented in this collection symbolize St. Anthony Hospital’s wish for our patients to enjoy long and healthy lives.
Artwork on Level One
Canticle of Creation
Steve Jensen — Carved Cedar
Donors: Dr. Eugene and Margaret Lapin
This piece tells the story of Creation as prayed by St. Francis of Assisi in the Canticle of Brother Sun. Jensen carved three totems chiseled from naturally fallen trees on the Peninsula. The totems reflect St. Francis’ Canticles of Creation, expressing the depth of God’s presence in all of creation.
A Healer’s Touch
unknown artist — Soapstone
This sculpture is hand carved by an African artist of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. Made from carved soapstone, this sculpture reflects profound respect for the safety and well-being of all healers. It is in this same way that we regard our nurses at St. Anthony Hospital.
William Robinson — Basalt Sculpture
Donors: Bob, Melanie, Robb & Brent Dressel
Robinson works from Bremerton and created the sculpture displayed in the peaceful garden outside the Emergency Services department. The piece was made from basalt for its solidity and ability to withstand the elements. The piece incorporates both smooth and rough surfaces, creating an intriguing texture.
Summer at Vaughn
Kurt Solmssen — Oil on Linen
Donors: Charlie Walters and Theresa Girard Walters
This painting was done on site at Vaughn Bay. Solmssen painted on summer mornings around 7:30 a.m., working only a few hours each day. The sun illuminates the yellow boat in the foreground, a boat which has been in Solmssen’s family since the 1930s.
A Fishing Village
Joseph Rossano — Mixed Media on Board
Rossano handblows the glass fish, sculpting the shape while the glass is still hot and leaving a hole at the end. A silver coating is then added inside, to give the fish its special mirrored quality. The panel is cedar veneer, applied over Baltic birch wood.
Gerry Newcomb — Cast Glass
Donors: Karen Bryant and Marietta Perkins
Beacon Window is set into the chapel’s outside wall, directly below the cross atop St. Anthony Hospital, to guide all in need of safe passage. It is the centerpiece in Newcomb's series of chapel glass windows.
Saint Anthony of Padua
Mardie Rees — Cast Bronze
Donors: Dan and Pat Nelson
Rees, a resident of Gig Harbor, created this sculpture using live models to inspire her work. The outward gaze of St. Anthony conveys quiet strength and assured confidence, while balancing the vulnerability of the child in his arms.
Artwork on Level Two
Barbara Lee Smith — Mixed Media Textile
Smith’s work is made from many parts and processes. First she makes a painting, and then collages over it with many bits of the same painted fabric. Finally, she stitches what appears to be a topographical map, suggesting the movement of land, sea or sky.
David Owen Hastings — Monotype, Collage, Stitching on Canvas
Hastings likes to explore patterns, shapes, colors and textures seen in nature. This four-panel work was inspired by smooth stones found on a beach near Port Townsend, WA.
Steve Jensen — Oil on Board
The abundant beauty of the world’s natural resources and the precarious relationship that we maintain with them inspired the artist.