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St. Ann's will celebrate 100th anniversary with mural

By BRET LIEBENDORFER Published: Thursday, July 10, 2008 3:11 PM EDT

In celebration of its centennial, Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital will soon have its own Uptown-like mural. Painted by local artist Renee Kropat, the 40-by-20-foot painting will be located between 477 and 495 Cooper Road on the back of one of the hospital's medical office buildings.

"The idea came from one person looking at a very large white wall near our serendipity garden and saying, off-handedly, that it would be a great place for a mural," said Brian Smith, the hospital's vice president of mission services. The theme for the mural will be "Caring Community" and Smith and Kropat both said the blank wall made for a perfect canvas due to its multi-level design and the three messages they wanted the mural to convey.

The upper level will feature a variety of community care providers, such as nurses and firefighter.

In the middle will be a visual timeline of the hospital's history beginning with its humble start as an infant orphanage and home for unwed mothers in 1908, on Bryden Road in Columbus, followed by the move to Westerville in 1984, and finally future buildings coming to the campus.

The lower level will compliment the existing garden area with a nature theme consisting of a sunset, pond and two trees with out-stretched hands.

Other features will include the hospital's mission statement, "We serve together in the spirit of the gospel," and other symbols of St. Ann's history.

Kropat said she was contacted in September to do the mural and began drawing the outline on the building Monday, July 7. She expects the project to be finished about one year after its inception, sometime in the middle of September.

Smith said plenty of unexpected challenges arose when planning for a project of this size, but none were too daunting. T

he first concern was ownership of the building since many buildings on the campus are joint facilities. After getting the go-ahead to paint on the selected site, the hospital then checked to make sure the mural would not be a zoning code violation. Lastly, safety requirements, such as release waivers and OSHA-approved scaffolding, had to be provided.

Besides dealing with rain or scorching heat, the most difficult aspect in creating a mural for Kropat is making sure everyone that wants to be involved gets the chance.

"The volunteers want to help out, but sometimes I just don't have enough jobs because there's so much interest in the project," she said. "Another challenge I have is that since I love to paint so much, sometimes I really get into it and lose myself."

Those interested in helping out with the Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital Caring Community Mural are asked to call 614-898-8896 or 614-898-4315. Work times will be held during the early morning and afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Paint and brushes will be provided.












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