Obici explores ‘Healing Art’

Published 10:39 pm Saturday, November 21, 2009

By day, they’re nurses, volunteers, doctors and staff. By night — or on vacation — they’re budding photographers, fledgling artists looking for a creative outlet.

Some of those amateurs will soon feel like pros as they walk through the 30-bed expansion at Sentara Obici Hospital when it’s complete and see their best photos framed and hung on the walls.

The honor is the culmination of “Healing Art,” a project the hospital just completed in which employees and volunteers were encouraged to submit their best photos for judging and possible display on the walls of the new expansion.

“What a great, fun project this was,” said Phyllis Stoneburner, Obici’s vice president of patient services, as she announced the contest winners during a reception at the hospital on Friday.

More than 200 photos had been submitted to be judged in six different categories. Ribbons were awarded for first, second and third place, as well as honorable mention.

As the winners were announced Friday, a group of entrants stood and applauded the successful candidates. Winning photos were mounted and lined up on tables along the walls of a conference room. Others that had not made the final cut were hung from display racks in a second-floor hallway, where visitors and employees could get an idea of the talented people who work at the hospital.

According to Gloria Worrell, who co-chairs the hospital’s design committee along with Dianne Boone, three judges chose winners in the following categories: historical, landscape, scenic, pets, seasonal and wildlife.

Judges were Kim Mason, a photography and art teacher at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy; Laura Solomon, a professional photographer; and Christopher Hoffpavir, a chief mass communications specialist for the U.S. Navy.

All hospital employees and doctors also had a chance to choose their favorite photos, and first-, second- and third-place People’s Choice Awards were presented based on that voting.

Worrell said an interior designer is working now to determine how best to display the winning photographs in the hospital’s new wing.