Monday, October 11, 2010

Villanova's College of Nursing represented in groundbreaking Philadelphia mural project

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addresses those gathered for the nursing mural dedication on October 2, 2010; below, Villanova's Nursing Dean, Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick (4th from left), joins other sponsors in receiving a commemorative mural photo with artist Meg Saligman (far left).

Nursing will once again have a prominent face for those in the busy Philadelphia thoroughfare of Broad and Vine Sts. On October 6th the latest mural The Evolving Face of Nursing was dedicated at that location with representatives of the Villanova University College of Nursing in attendance. The College sponsored the mural , along with other schools and corporate and community friends of nursing. The College is also represented in the mural through the faces of its faculty, students and alumni.

The Evolving Face of Nursing is a groundbreaking project of the city’s Mural Arts Program, the largest in the nation. Philadelphia, which has already earned international recognition as the “City of Murals” can now claim the only mural with embedded LED lighting. As part of the artwork, leading nurses from throughout the city were captured in portraits and these portraits were reproduced on a large scale by renowned muralist Meg Saligman. This classical, elegant imagery will be lit with LED lighting that will change color throughout the night. The faces will transform on the wall as they appear to glow and shift in color, drawing in the passing viewer. All aspects of the career of nursing are represented in the mural, from students and directors to home care and visiting nurses.

Those with College of Nursing ties who are associated with the mural include Elise Pizzi, MSN, CRNP, adjunct assistant professor; ’72 alumna Donna Torrisi, MSN, CRNP, network executive director of the Family Practice and Counseling Network; undergraduate students Jennifer V. Hoang, David Sauerhoff and Ellen Stoner; graduate student Lena J. Congo and international student Suhaila K. Al Subhi, a nurse from the Sultanate of Oman.

The Evolving Face of Nursing, which replaced an older mural of nursing, captures the voices and images of Philadelphia’s nurses, reflecting their commitment to the people they serve and highlighting their ever-evolving role at the center of the healthcare profession. Saligman researched and interviewed practicing nurses throughout Philadelphia, exploring what exactly they want to say about their profession. The mural is a narrative that begins with the bygone days of starched uniforms and hats, and moves to the story of present day nurses who take on increasing responsibility, practicing with knowledge, skill, compassion and care. This 6,500 square foot mural animated with lights is unlike any other piece of public art that has been created. The mural is one image by day, and a different one by night with the lights.

Wall preparations began in October 2009. Over the winter and spring of 2010, Saligman worked on the design, and the mural was painted on sections of cloth in the artist’s studio during the fall and winter. Installation of the painted cloth and the LED lights began in April 2010. Students at Philadelphia-area schools participated in the painting of the mural in September 2010. It will be lit every evening.

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