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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 9, 2003

UI Hospitals And Clinics To Honor 25 Years Of Project Art

Project Art, a visual and performing arts program at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, will celebrate its 25th anniversary from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, on the first floor of the John Colloton Pavilion.

Throughout the day, Cedar Rapids artist Velga Easker will work with patients, visitors and staff to create a commemorative paper quilt, using Project Art brochures, flyers and other memorabilia from the past 25 years. The artwork will become part of the hospital art collection.

Guided tours of the UI Hospitals and Clinics' permanent art collection will be presented, beginning on the first floor near Elevator F in the Colloton Pavilion. A tour starting at 10:30 a.m. will feature glass art on display. A separate tour that begins at 1 p.m. will highlight the signature pieces from the medical center's art collection.

At 11 a.m., musicians Patty Ankrum and Dale Beeks will perform in the Atrium of the John Colloton Pavilion.

Major Grooves, an a cappella group comprised of UI medical students, is scheduled to perform at 12:30 p.m., also in the Atrium. Following Major Grooves, Iowa City dance troupe Arts a la Carte will present a participatory dance demonstration. All events are free and open to the public.

At 2:30 p.m., a naming ceremony on the first floor in the Atrium will dedicate the Joyce P. Summerwill Patient and Visitor Activities Center. The center is located on the eighth floor of the John Colloton Pavilion. Summerwill founded Project Art in 1978 and served as Project Art coordinator from 1978 until 1987 and as director of Patient and Guest Relations (now known as Patient and Visitor Programs) from 1987 until she retired in 1994. She continues her service as a member of the Art in State Buildings Art Acquisition Committee, which oversees acquisitions for UI Hospitals and Clinics' permanent art collection.

Project Art was the first hospital arts program of its kind and has become a model program for other hospital arts organizations throughout the United States. Its main goal is to provide a healing, humane environment for patients, visitors and staff through the visual and performing arts.

Project Art staff oversee the acquisition, installation and maintenance of nearly 5,800 art objects (2,300 original and 3,500 reproductions), coordinates nearly 60 performances per year and facilitates five changing gallery spaces at UI Hospitals and Clinics, which display work by local and regional artists. Additionally, a group of volunteers operate the Art Cart program, which has grown from 100 to nearly 1,200 posters in its collection. Patients select a framed poster from the Art Cart to adorn their room; they may also borrow art supplies from Project Art.

Original artwork in the UI Hospitals and Clinics' collection has been purchased in accordance with the Iowa Art in State Buildings program, which mandates that one-half of one percent of total construction or renovation costs (pertaining to state buildings) be used for the purchase of fine art. Through hospital funds, the collection of the UI Hospitals and Clinics has grown to be the largest public art collection (other than those of museums and galleries) in the state.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,