Edmonton artist Nola Cassady stopped in a room on the fifth floor of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and stared at one of her babies.
The post-natal recovery unit doesn’t open its doors to the public until May 16, but Cassady got a sneak peek at her creations over the weekend.
Cassady is more than eight months pregnant with her first child, but as she visits room after room in the hospital’s post-natal ward, she already feels a sense of maternal pride over the 20 pieces of pastel-on-paper still-life art decorating the now-empty patient rooms.
Cassady accepted a commission to do 20 pieces of art in two-and-a-half months for the hospital, thinking it would be tight but she’d be able to get it done. A week later, she got the big news.
“For me, the work at this hospital is a documentation of my first trimester of my first pregnancy,” she said.
Susan Pointe was the art consultant responsible for bringing artists to the hospital’s committee for selection. She put out a call to local artists, commercial galleries and curators and received over 200 responses.
“It was a big acquisition project,” Pointe said. “We reviewed a lot of artists’ work and made decisions based on what we felt would be appropriate in a hospital context. We were very preoccupied about how the staff and the patients would perceive the work.”
Although Cassady won’t be having her firstborn at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women — her due date is six days before the unit officially opens to the public — the artist said she’s honoured to have been a part of decorating the hospital’s walls.
“I’m from a family of gardeners and when I first moved into my house, my first gift was a Lois Hole gardening book,” Cassady said. “To be attached to this, to her name at all, is really quite an honour.”