Massey’s clinics feature captivating new artwork
Hospital artwork is usually something that you notice most when it’s not there. Before 2014, the walls at Massey Cancer Center’s downtown and Stony Point outpatient oncology clinics were easy to miss, but thanks to volunteers, donors and the hard work of artists, the art that now streams through the clinic captivates passersby and breathes life into the clinics.
The installation features images of nature captured by photography and printed on canvas. The art is located in the chemotherapy treatment rooms, exam rooms and waiting areas at Massey’s Dalton Oncology Clinic in downtown Richmond and its hematology-oncology clinic at Stony Point 9000.
Dorin Todor, Ph.D., and Fran Householder were the contributing artists for this project and donated the art free of charge. Todor is a medical physicist in the Department of Radiation Oncology and director of the Brachytherapy Program at Massey. Fran Householder is currently retired after spending 19 years working in Massey’s Development Office.
Todor says that he remembers getting his first camera as a young boy and has been in love with photography ever since. When he came to Massey in 2001, he was also working in the studios at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). He used that experience in selecting his pictures.
“Deciding which photographs to group together was challenging because of how important it is that the pieces are coherent, or that they ‘talk to each other, in a way,’” said Todor.
The featured photos by Householder portray scenes from Massey’s Healing Garden, or Becky’s Garden, an area Householder has been photographing since it opened.
“I love the garden, especially the flowers, so taking the pictures was a joy,” said Householder, who wanted her pieces to be colorful, uplifting, refreshing and capture the serenity of the garden. “I was humbled and most honored that my photos were chosen to be used in this way because I know what a difference it makes for the patients and visitors in the clinics.”
The project was envisioned and led by Massey volunteers and Advisory Board members Shelly Arthur, Terrell Harrigan and Becky Massey. The team received input and support from Massey’s staff, including the head nurses in the areas where the art was installed.
“We wanted the patients to be in an environment that’s uplifting and peaceful. A place that could provide them a sense of calm, because undergoing treatment can feel like a whirlwind,” said Terrell Harrigan, who is coming up on her 10-year anniversary of surviving breast cancer.
“This project has been in the works for 5 years and the most amazing thing to me is that everyone who’s helping to complete it now has been in on the team since the beginning,” added Arthur.
This project was funded through the Clinical Services Committee Fund, MCV Hospital Auxiliary Grants and Massey.
“When you see a piece it’s easy to look past the work that was put in behind it. There were so many people working on this project that taking the photos seems like a smaller part,” said Todor.
By Savannah Smith, communications intern at VCU Massey Cancer Center