Hospital installs stained glass ‘healing art’

Healing can be transparent at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. “Moongate,” a stained glass by Virginia “Ginny” Kelly now hangs in the hospital lobby, inviting people of all backgrounds to find comfort in its illumination.

Kelly was one of several artists who responded to the Hospital Auxiliary’s Request for Proposal, asking for a piece of “healing art” to be placed in or near the hospital’s lobby.

“Healing takes place at different levels — physical, spiritual, emotional and relationship,” Kelly said.

She researched the subject of healing and learned that hospital staff take their work very personally, and that they need spiritual and emotional healing as much as their patients need healing. She chose a stained glass window to meet what she sees as a universal need for healing.

“Moongate,” influenced by Kelly’s Christian background, was created for people of all faiths and traditions. The circle depicts a moongate, the gate between the high walls in an Oriental garden. It is the opening or transition from one part of the garden to the other.

“In the case of this moongate, it is designed to take people from physical to spiritual or other types of healing,” Kelly said. “It is for patients, for families and for caring professionals.”

The window was installed in late November and dedicated on Dec. 3.

“The effect it has had on people since it was installed last week is amazing,” said Volunteer Services Director Lynn Berens, who helped the Auxiliary choose the art project. The window is made of blue, green, red and orange Italian glass and outlined with prisms and jewels of glass. “People often see the incredible light it reflects before they see the window. They just stand in awe and wonder. It is so peaceful.”

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