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Students with Hilltop Artists install glass art at Mary Bridge

Posted on Mar. 29, 2013 ( comments)
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Drop by drop, one glass sphere at a time, waves of color illuminated the sky and washed away the gray.

Inside two newly built skybridges at MultiCare Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, students and leaders with the Hilltop Artists program carefully filled floor-to-ceiling windows with more than 1,300 hand-blown glass floats.

Thanks to a community partnership between the hospital and Hilltop Artists, the bubbles of sea-foam green and bright pops of salmon-roe orange were created by young artists as a gift to the young patients who will receive care in two new pediatric inpatient floors that are under construction at Mary Bridge.

The not-for-profit MultiCare Health System is remodeling and updating the areas serving women, newborns and children at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Tacoma General Hospital. Construction began in 2012 and will add more Mary Bridge Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) beds, a new Mary Bridge Medical Surgical Unit, a renovated Tacoma General Family Birth Center and an improved Tacoma General Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

When the final phase of the project is completed in 2015, the project will add 133,919 square feet of new space and 144,835 square feet of renovated space.

When designing new additions or facilities, MultiCare allocates a portion of project budgets for exterior and interior public art elements. For this project, MultiCare commissioned original works by local and regional Northwest artists to enhance these facilities for the enjoyment of all.

About Hilltop Artists

Hilltop Artists was established in 1994 with the help of celebrated glass artist Dale Chihuly, who was born at Tacoma General Hospital. Hilltop Artists is a nonprofit glass arts program that provides classes and individualized instruction for over 500 students each year, according to the program's website. Hilltop Artists offers a unique model for using art as a means for violence prevention and intervention with youth, and provides youths ages 11-20 with hot glass instruction, related arts training, and adult mentors focusing on increasing students’ academic and interpersonal success.

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