After learning that the Healing Garden mural in the lobby of the Rothman Institute Hospital was going to be painted over, an out-pour of objection came from the community members who took solace in the art. Fortunately, the artist who created the mural said that a solution to preserve some of the mural has been found.
Sharon Harrison, the artist who painted the mural, said that the essence of the mural, the healing portion are going to be preserved.
"As a result of all the feedback, there are sections of the mural, like the angel and some of the detail work, that will be cut out of sheet rock, framed and hung in Dr. Beth's office." Harrison told Patch. "It won't be an entire mural, which was amazingly awesome, but this is the best solution for everyone right now."
Portions of the mural will be displayed at Dr. Beth Baughman DuPree's Comprehensive Breast Care Surgeons' office in Southampton and at Holy Redeemer.
DuPree commissioned Harrison to paint a mural at the DSI Bucks County Hospital, which went out of business in 2009. Harrison, of Sharrison Studios, said that while she was considering what to paint at the hospital she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and it became apparent as to what she should paint.
"I started the mural before I was actually diagnosed with Breast Cancer. When I was in the process of thinking what to paint, I got the diagnosis," she said. "Then it was clear what I was to paint. I started painting the mural when I started receiving treatment."
For seven weeks, Harrison would paint every day until 3 p.m., clean her brushes then go to radiation treatment. It took about eight months for the mural to be complete, she said.
"It was very much a healing process. I had no side affects to my radiation, I believe because I was acting out my own art therapy," she added.
Harrison said "it was extremely upsetting" to learn that the mural was to be painted over, but that taking parts of the mural and hanging it in other places "is a really good solution."
When the Rothman Orthopedic group reopened the former DSI facility in 2009, there was never an agreement to keep the mural, Dr. DuPree explained on Facebook. Harrison said she was thankful that they have kept it up for so long.
DuPree announced the news after many people posted pleas on the Rothman Institute's Facebook page to keep the mural intact.
"I am pleased to tell you that, thanks to Rothman Institute and Holy Redeemer Health System, the 'healing message' of the of the mural has been retained, and you’ll see how in both of our offices soon!" she said. "We plan to honor the symbolism and healing intention of the mural while understanding and respecting that the building was sold and the new owners may modify their private space in any way that they choose."
Harrison wrote in response to DuPree's post that she was stunned to see all of the written pleas and testimonials that the Healing Garden mural held great meaning and healing for so many people.
"We can all be pleased to know that it's healing power will continue in a different space," she said. "My sincere thank you to the Rothman Institute, Holy Redeemer Health Systems and Dr. Beth DuPree of Comprehensive Breast Care Surgeons for their joint effort to find a solution."
Harrison stopped by the Rothman Institute on Friday, March 15, and told Patch that the lobby has already been closed and parts of the mural have already been cut out, so the process is underway.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome that we've been able to remove portions that have real meaning and put them in a place where people can still seek comfort," she said.