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Under-the-sea mural brightens MultiCare Westgate Clinic
Little boys tend to like the toothy hammerhead shark. Little girls tend to like the grinning dolphin. Older people tend to like the intricate fins and scales of the lion fish.
That’s the consensus among patients at the MultiCare Westgate Clinic in Tacoma, where a recently completed undersea mural makes patients feel like they are on a tropical snorkeling vacation.
The mural came courtesy of the volunteer efforts of Keith Hammond, a Tacoma man who spent 27 days this summer transforming a white wall into a vibrant seascape. He finished up last week.
“It’s been a huge success in terms of entertainment for the patients,” said Bev Garratt, a supervisor at the clinic. “All that detail is amazing. People love it. It’s fun being able to watch the interactions.”
The idea for the mural came after the MultiCare University Place Clinic created a zoo-themed area for children. The Westgate clinic wanted to do something similar. A friend of Hammond’s works at the clinic and thought he would be the right person for the job.
Hammond, who works in financial services with Primerica, said he hadn’t touched a paint brush in 25 years. He said the coral was the hardest part, but eventually it all came together.
“We just sat back and watched and trusted him,” Garratt said.
As Hammond painted, some patients suggested which fish they would like to see included. Some patients have even returned to the clinic just to check on the progress and see the finished product.
“I always knew he was a good artist, but when I walked in here my mouth fell open,” said Hammond’s mother, Pat Hammond, who flew up from Laramie, Wyo., this week to see her son’s work.
In the mural, a tiny sailboat floats above the waves. It's named for her.
Related story in The News Tribune: "From finance agent to artist"
Posted on Sep 23, 2011 in Clinics