Last week we had a first. We hung the original I Am More portraits on pristine virgin walls, so fresh that the painter was still working in the vicinity and maybe watching us a little warily. We were in the brand-new wing of North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA.
The new facility features state-of-the-art everything – emergency department, inpatient floor, and of most interest to us, the new Epstein Center for Behavioral Health.
Expanding behavioral health services helps to meet the overwhelming demand for mental health and addiction treatment, a priority shared by Governor Baker. The Epstein Center will be the largest inpatient mental health service embedded in a general hospital in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, enabling patients to benefit from a range of subspecialists available on site. This addition also serves to relieve overcrowding in NSMC’s emergency department and free up capacity for patients with critical health issues.– North Shore Medical Center press release
It was an interesting hang, since the wall we were working with had lifesaving tubes, wires and gases on the other side in the Emergency Department so Iain had to test the wall, mark it with tape a million times and still try to come up with a pleasing arrangement.
We had some help this time, though, thanks to Art Consultant Eva Zervos, and our long-suffering friend Chris Sadkowski. Chris is the President of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Greater North Shore, and has been responsible for many of the I Am More exhibits past and future, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty! I doubt he was planning on a three-hour project, but we are forever grateful.
Last Saturday there was a Community Open House where the public could tour the new facility before it opens. Iain and Chris and I checked it out in its finished condition and were pleased to hear that the staff and administration of NSMC were loving the exhibit and would like to have it and future portraits back as soon as possible.
Next up…North Shore Music Theatre!
I Am More is supported by donations. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support future portraits and displays, you can go to the Donation page of our fiscal sponsor Ocean Alliance and choose “I Am More” from the list of programs.Thank you for your support!!