“Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew,” by Rachael McCampbell © 2022, Ascension St. Thomas Hospital, Midtown, Nashville, TN. Each alcove is about 10′ x 10′.
Completion of Installations at Ascension St. Thomas Hospital Midtown, Nashville, TN
When presenting my idea for a commissioned piece to the committee at Ascension St. Thomas two years ago, I had a vision about my art spinning in different patterns and directions, pausing to show the entire work, then beginning again. To help the renovation committee to understand my vision, I hired an animator who created a mock-up of my 2-D art for me. They loved the idea and we moved forward.
There were a lot of moving parts with committees, bids, meetings, emails and contracts. I met with members of the construction, architecture and interior design team, the art coordinator for the hospital and the hospital’s fundraising arm. I received input from the hospital’s Catholic priest, a doctor on the team, their marketing and PR staff and more. I researched and procured a fabricator who would build the framework and create the computer program that would run the motors which makes the work spin. Most of this work was done during covid so there were zoom calls plus a few person to person meetings at the hospital. I enjoyed meeting all these people who made this renovation happen.
My job was much more than simply painting something to hang on the wall. I was the project manager–the person keeping all the plates spinning with all these different committees and entities. It was challenging at times but it all worked out.
I began, like I said, with the animation and SketchUp drawings, then moved to rough concept sketches . There were to be four paintings done in two large alcoves that display to both the lobby and the outside rock garden. Since I was painting four paintings, I chose to begin with the four seasons as the genesis of my idea.
The intention of the project was to relay a since of peace and healing when you enter the hospital and to reflect the history and philosophy of Ascension St. Thomas Hospital as well. Nature, in my opinion, can be very soothing to the soul, so I decided to go with Tennessee landscapes during our four distinct seasons. I also incorporated some Christian symbols and imagery into my design. The committee approved of my ideas each step of the way so I moved forward.
I had four cradled wood panels made that were 5′ x 5′ custom made for this project. Because they were so large I rented a studio space large enough to hang them in long row so I could step back and see what I was doing. This new studio space is in Centerville, TN about 45 min. from where I live and I love it!
I have posted pictures with captions of this process to give you an idea about my process. I hope you enjoy the work and if you have a chance, please go see it at Ascension St. Thomas Midtown, Nashville on the corner of 21st Street and State Street.
This is one of the original SketchUp conceptual designs of people viewing the art on a plinth from the garden. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell
This is one of the original SketchUp conceptual designs of people viewing the art without a plinth from the lobby. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
First color sketches to show the first conceptual ideas for the seasons. Over time, my ideas grew and changed. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
Second set of drawings which explained the incorporation of the Christian symbols into the work. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell
Final Artwork: “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew: Winter,” Original Artwork for Ascension St. Thomas Hospital © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. The stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel and also act as angels.
Final Artwork: “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew: Spring,” Original Artwork for Ascension St. Thomas Hospital © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. The Wooded landscapes with a pathway lit by what could be the arms of God.
Final Artwork: “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew: Summer,” Original Artwork for Ascension St. Thomas Hospital © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Notice the doves morphing into the cornette habits of the Daughters of Charity who were an integral to St. Thomas hospital.
Final Artwork: “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew: Autumn,” Original Artwork for Ascension St. Thomas Hospital © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Look for the flaming sacred heart which is “flaming” with autumn leaves, a crucifix and the crown of thorns that Jesus was forced to wear. Also, there are rays of light symbolizing God’s love from the center of the heart.
To show you the scale, this is the original artwork panels that are 5′ x 5′ wide. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
This is what it looked like when I finished my last bush stroke on a very long project….whew. I had to collapse on the floor and relax and husband captured it. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. July 18, 2022.
Susan Trotman and Mike Borum at Chromatics in Nashville. They helped me a great deal by scanning the original artwork and printing them onto the Dibond Panels. They did a fantastic job! © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
These are test strips that were printed the actual size of the artwork to be installed — over 7′ high. You cannot tell the difference between the prints and the originals…that good! © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
This was a hospital visit when it was under construction to see where my art would live. May 13, 2022. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
A later view of one of the alcoves in the lobby before we installed the art. July 19, 2022. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
I went up to Indianapolis in this summer to meet the Ignition Arts Team in person and see how the framework and construction were going. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
Dan Eisinger and I met to go over the computer programing in Indianapolis–we made some final decisions on the how the artwork would move and spin, pause and turn again. Lots of finessing. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
The installation of the panels at the hospital September 9, 2022. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
I am with the guys from Ignition Arts in Indianapolis as artwork is being installed. September 9, 2022. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
“Autumn” on the left and “Winter” on the right as they are paused. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
Here are the panels when they line up and you can see them from both the lobby and the rock garden outside. They pause for about 35 seconds and then begin to move again. There are about 8 different sequences they go through before repeating. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
And here they go….the panels move in different directions at different speeds until they all line up. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
View from the rock garden of “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew,” in motion © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
View from the lobby of the art moving. “Seasons Turn, Pause & Renew,” © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
Views of “Spring” on the right and “Summer” on the left.© 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
Straight on view of “Autumn,” © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
Straight on view of “Winter,” © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photo by John Schweikert Photography.
Rock Garden View of Spring and Winter turning through the window. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell. Photography by John Schweikert.
I went on “Local on 2 Live,” a Nashville TV show, to promote the artwork at Ascension St. Thomas and did a painting while I was on the set. It was really fun and great to meet the amazing producer Lauren Snowden, and the beautiful hosts, Larissa Wohl and Laura Schweizer. © 2022 Rachael McCampbell. #localon2live September 12, 2022.
Some dear friends joined me for a private reception at the hospital to announce the new art and the three artists who were commissioned to works in the lobby area. Marcia and Jim Leach, Curtis Stewart and Rachael McCampbell, Mary and Tom Murphy and Gloria and Richard Broming. September 12, 2022. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.
A close up view of the panels “Autumn and Summer” as they move and form on each turn their own abstract art as the panels are mixed up and unrecognizable until they all line up to form the complete painting. © 2022 by Rachael McCampbell.