Hope on display
Since the start of the Hope Grows Here community project, the MultiCare Foundations have been grateful to partner with several talented local artists who have helped spread joy across our communities.
Peter Jacobsen is one of them. If you’ve driven past the Korum Automotive Group in Puyallup lately, you’ve no doubt seen his vibrant work on the windows of car dealerships or the billboard on North Meridian Avenue. This was the 20-year-old’s “first billboard” as an artist, but not his first time working with MultiCare.
In 2019, Peter offered his talents to create a stunning piece for the entryway of Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital. When he was contacted to create something new as part of the Hope Grows Here project in April, he poured his energy into it for three days straight.
“I was contacted on a Friday and I sent the final designs by Monday morning,” Peter says. He adds that the timing worked out well, in an odd way. After coming home for spring break, he wasn’t able to return to school at Virginia Commonwealth University due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been working on my art anyway while I’m here at home, so luckily, I already had all of the paint and supplies I needed,” Peter says.
That Friday, he started sketching and pulling inspiration from other artists he admires (Andy Warhol’s color palettes are some of his favorites). He began painting two hours later, then continued adding more layers of paint throughout the weekend. He ended up with three master designs that were done to scale, so they could easily be expanded to the proportions needed for the windows and billboard.
What motivated Peter most about participating in a project like this was the idea of hope, and what it means for people who may be facing behavioral health challenges during this period of isolation.
“Mental health is really important to me. I understand it and sympathize with people who go through challenges with it. For me, art is my form of therapy,” Peter explains. “I was interested in helping out with this because as a younger person watching people I know who have been pillars of hope and strength throughout my childhood; seeing them feel so lost and hopeless during this time – it’s a scary concept. But I think the younger generations can do a lot to inspire hope. Doing this piece is my way of trying to share that hope with others. It's a way for me to do my part."
Sophia Hall, Executive Director of the Korum for Kids Foundation, worked with Peter previously on the piece he created for Wellfound and was grateful to partner with him again to bring Hope Grows Here to life through Korum.
“His passion for art is equal to that of his passion for helping those who suffer from mental health issues,” Sophia says of Peter. “We have now commissioned another piece from him which will be publicly announced shortly for the city of Puyallup, and will have to do with suicide prevention and drug/alcohol awareness. Peter is a delightful young man who we now call friend, and we can’t wait to support him for decades to come.”
To the people who see his work, Peter hopes it will remind them that despite the isolation, there are always others in the community who care about them.
“The idea of hope is something that everyone can cling to,” he says. “We can all get through this together. If people see something like this while they’re commuting to work alone or going home to a place where they live alone, it could be really encouraging. Just know that there are people out there who care and are still with you.”
You can also support greater access to behavioral health services by making a donation through the MultiCare Behavioral Health Foundation today.
About The Author
McKenna Ownby writes stories that connect readers to the impact of philanthropy.More stories by this author