Digital art exhibit at UNMC campus honors healthcare workers

Omaha artist lends creativity to give thanks to healthcare workers in our area.
Posted at 1:02 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 14:02:08-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Now through Feb. 16, a huge digital art display will be featured on the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) campus to “awe, inspire, and most of all, to thank Nebraska’s health care professionals who have worked so long and hard during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to a release from UNMC, the installation will be projected on the western wall of the Williams Science Hall building near 42nd and Dewey Avenue.

“It will cover the entire western façade,” of the building, 25 feet tall by 85 feet wide, said Colleen Heavican Cass, curator for the Healing Arts Program.

The location was chosen to greet medical workers at Nebraska Medicine and UNMC as they come and go to work.

More about the installation from UNMC:

The Gratitude Project was inspired by spectacular video images of thanks, projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House a year ago, as wildfires devastated Australia. The Healing Arts exhibit will feature animated inspirational artwork, emblazoned with messages like “You make a difference,” “Thank you,” and, “You make Nebraska proud,” projected onto the face of the newly refurbished Williams Science Hall on 42nd Street, on the medical center’s Omaha campus.

Digital mapping technology will project the artwork onto Williams Science Hall from sunset to sunrise beginning this evening, Feb. 3 through Feb. 16.

The description calls to mind especially elaborate holiday lights displays. Does the medical center expect increased traffic on 42nd Street, as members of the public take in the show?

“We hope so,” said Heavican Cass. “The artist wanted it to be bold and illuminating, something that could become a conversation piece for the community.”

The artist is Omahan Laurie Victor Kay, whose work “blurs the lines between photography, painting, art, culture, fashion, architecture and digital medium to reinterpret spaces into imagined worlds,” according to her website. She collaborated with Hylan Miller, an Omaha artist and graphic designer.

And, with the UNMC Department of Facilities, Management and Planning, and Nebraska Medicine Information Technology, to pull it off, along with a private contractor.

A rented projector will sit on the lower roof of Wittson Hall, right outside of Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD’s window.

The Healing Arts Program found no light pollution issues, and no permits were required from the city, Cass said.

The artists are donating their time and talent, and two anonymous donors covered the cost of bringing the exhibit to life.

The Healing Arts Program operates within UNMC and Nebraska Medicine to engage patients, caregivers, staff and students to heal through the arts.

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