After the lower school art exhibition closed with the school year, many pieces were selected to move on for display at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) at Stanford University.
The arrangement came about when art teacher Eric Hoffman, intent on getting a public showing, asked his students for suggestions on where they could exhibit. Said Hoffman, “One of my students, Matthew Ho, Gr. 5, suggested a hospital and I thought, ‘what a great idea!’ Since we already have an association with Stanford it seemed only natural to ask them if they were interested.
“I think our students do great work and something I have always wanted to do is get the work out into the public, so that people can see how great our children are and certainly to promote the school and our programs. That is just a really positive thing to do,” Hoffman said. “My students are very excited about it.”
Hoffman made his first inquiry before Christmas, and the process was nearly completed in May. “We had an initial meeting, where we went to visit the hospital,” said Hoffman. “We met with their staff and talked about the possibility of having an exhibition there. We had also taken a collection of work, paintings, drawings, prints and collages that had already been completed. After the initial meeting, I invited them to come to Bucknall and view the art around campus. I had Chef Dave Hendricks prepare a special lunch for them which was quite wonderful,” Hoffman noted.
“They brought in their specialist, Ted Cohen, one of the leading exhibition designers in the country and somebody I had met when I was going through graduate school,” said Hoffman. “He designs exhibitions for a number of museums and galleries in the area and across the United States as well. It was very nice to know he was in charge.”
The process is underway for about 50 pieces to go on display, and Hoffman and Cohen will decide on the pieces to be used. Three-dimensional art will go in the hospital art display cases on the ground floor of the hospital and there will be framed art across the street in the outpatient clinic in waiting rooms and corridors. The exhibition should be in place by the end of the year, said Susan Gray, administrative project manager at the hospital.
“The goal is simply to make another connection to our community and share the talents of other children with our patients and families,” Gray said. “The level of talent, color, imaginative design, whimsy and nature themes all resonated with us and our art committee’s goals.”
The display will rotate pieces after about six months, Hoffman said. Although the initial plan is to run the exhibition for a year, “we are hoping for a long-lasting association.”
“As Sue Bass (art teacher), Jamie Fung (art assistant) and I toured the LPCH facility, you could really see how the artwork brightened people’s lives. It is a stressful time for a lot of families, especially at a children’s hospital. The artwork helps put a little smile on their faces, somehow,” Hoffman said. “We really felt that it was a good thing to do. It is about cheering up somebody’s life, and for our students it is, number one, a great way for them to give back to the community.”