Artwork at Upstate: Important 50 years ago, important today

July 1964: Upstate President Carlyle “Jake” Jacobsen, PhD, discusses the commemorative bronze plaque with colleagues.

July 1964: Upstate President Carlyle “Jake” Jacobsen, PhD, discusses the commemorative bronze plaque with colleagues.

Anyone who walks in the first-floor lobby of Upstate’s downtown hospital can see a piece of artwork that dates back to the opening of the building. It’s a bronze plaque created by artist Dorothy Riester in 1964 to commemorate the hospital’s opening and the transfer of the Syracuse Dispensary. Five years ago — in honor of the hospital’s 45th anniversary —  the plaque was cleaned and reinstalled in black granite. (The plaque  was created in clay by Riester, and cast in bronze, as a donation, by M.L. Oberdorfer Foundry.)

Bronze plaque that hangs in the hospital lobby.

Bronze plaque that hangs in the hospital lobby.

In 2009, Reister described the process of working with hospital officials to create the wall sculpture: “I designed a number of maquettes (small models) for review. They selected the most contemporary approach, which should look as fresh today as it did over forty years ago.”

This year, Upstate is getting ready to fill its newest building for patient care — the Upstate Cancer Center — with the work of 30 artists. All artwork is based on the theme of “healing through nature” and was selected to complement the design of the center.

To select artwork for the cancer center, a committee of Upstate patients and staff reviewed proposals by numerous artists from New York state. The committee selected a sculpture for the building’s entrance and over a hundred pieces of art to hang in corridors; exam, patient and treatment rooms; and offices. Nationally acclaimed ceramist Margie Hughto of Jamesville, NY is among the 30 sculptors, painters and photographers whose work was selected for the new cancer center.

The public is invited to a “sneak peek” tour of the Upstate Cancer Center on Saturday, July 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ceramic tiles by Margie Hughto. Similar nature-themed wall sculptures will be in the new cancer center.

Ceramic tiles by Margie Hughto. Similar nature-themed wall sculptures will be in the new cancer center.

 

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About susankeeter

Occasional contributor Upstate’s Susan Keeter has written about and painted Upstate’s Dr. Sarah Loguen, one of the first African American women physicians. Keeter created the horse sculpture in front of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and illustrated a children’s book on autism, “Waiting for Benjamin.” She’s written for Physician Practice, Upstate Alumni Journal and Outlook magazines. Reach her by email at keeters@upstate.edu or by phone at 315-464-4834.
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