(July 9, 2008)
When you're sick and not feeling well, thinking about something else can be just what the doctor ordered. A group of Tomah area artists hope that their artwork will be a helpful for people being treated at the new Tomah Memorial Hospital Warrens Walk-In Clinic.
Tomah artist Del Lucka is one of several members of the Tomah Area Art Group (TAAG) who have displayed over 15 pieces of framed artwork for sale at the clinic located on the east edge of Warrens along Cty. Hwy. EW and Interstate 94 adjacent to The Bog Restaurant.
"We're promoting art at this facility by displaying various types on the wall for the relaxation and enjoyment of the patients when they come in," said Lucka. "We hope that it would a distraction from their problems and something enjoyable to look at."
With the assistance of Tomah businesswoman Cyndy Hall of Tomah, the artwork is displayed using a unique system that does not use of nails that could damage the walls. Instead, the artwork is displayed using wire that lends a "gallery effect", while allowing for pieces to be changed and replaced.
Lucka said each item has a business card listing the price and how to contact the artist to purchase the piece. She also said they plan to change the artwork to reflect the seasons of the year.
"None of us are teenagers, so we all have a little bit more perspective and we want to be a blessing to anyone that we can," she said. "When this opportunity presented itself we were very excited that our pictures could be enjoyed by people that might be having a bad day."
First organized in 2006 under the leadership of Ruth Gamerdinger of Elroy, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Regional Art Program (WRAP), Lucka said TAAG re-organized on April 28, 2008 with nine interested artists committed to promoting an art image for Tomah. She said the organization now consists of a "working group of six" who create with various art mediums. "The group wants to share their art with the public, encourage others to paint, to travel and to view other works of art," she said. The group also has a selection of pieces on display at Custom Floors and Drapes in downtown Tomah, and at The Bog Restaurant, located adjacent to the Warrens Clinic.
Tomah Memorial Hospital Administrative Assistant Wanda O'Leary said hospital officials were happy to work with the group to promote the arts and decorate the clinic. "The effort between the art group and Tomah Memorial Hospital gave the art group an opportunity to display their works and at the same time benefit the Warrens Clinic with a decor from residents of our community," said O'Leary.
Lucka said TAAG members will be at the Warrens Clinic Open House scheduled July 17th from 2p.m. to 6 p.m. to answer any questions about the artwork. "This is a marvelous opportunity, and I think this is a benefit to anyone who comes in here. They'll be able to see different colored things, it's a marvelous distraction."
She also said the group welcomes any artist or would-be artist, who wants to promote art to join the group by contacting her at (608)343-0808.