Hospital unveils new ‘Hearts’ sculpture

More than 50 donors, nurses and others gathered Sept. 30 for the unveiling of the sculpture “Hearts,” created by Whidbey Island sculptor Sue Taves.

The piece is on display in the lobby of Whidbey Health Medical Center.

The sculpture is a gift to the hospital from Joann and Art Peterson and their friends and family, who raised funds to commission the piece, according to a press release from the hospital.

“My family, friends, Art and I dedicate this ‘Hearts’ sculpture to you, the members of my oncology team who date back to March 2015,” Joann Peterson said to the crowd before the piece was unveiled.

“You tucked me in, you tickled my funny bone, yet you stayed on task for the serious business of infusion. You were there when our world slipped off its axis. Now you are here with us once again celebrating life and love.”

The Petersons partnered with the WhidbeyHealth Foundation and the artist to bring their vision to life over the course of a year. The five varieties of stone in the tower of artistically-hewn hearts symbolize strength and love in the face of adversity and include honeycomb onyx, California antique marble, Spanish blue alabaster, raspberry alabaster and serpentine on a granite and steel base.

Joann Peterson said that she hopes the piece is enjoyed by visitors to the hospital, but mainly she wants it to be a place for Cancer Care patients and their families “to contemplate, to meditate, to be at peace.”

Peterson compared the artwork to her own cancer journey.

“A tower of hearts that sometimes seems just a little precarious,” she said.

“Colors that begin in dark and end in light. This piece means so much more to me than I ever envisioned,” Joann Peterson said.

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