Students complete mural at Long Term Care entrance

Claudia Loucks
A trio of Geneseo High School art students recently completed a welcoming mural in the entryway to the Long Term Care Living Center at Hammond-Henry Hospital in Geneseo. Photographed in front of the art work are, from left, Kay McAvoy, art student; Nicole Kittleson, LTC manager; Jenna Freadhoff and Evelyn Allison, both art students. The painting was coordinated by GHS art teacher Kim Windisch.

The entryway to Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Living Center (LTC) was just that…a place to enter or exit…doors, glass and blank walls. That is no longer what greets family and friends who enter LTC from the east parking lot of the hospital.

The entryway has been a “functional place,” serving as a windbreak for those cold blustery days and sometimes as a waiting space for someone waiting for a ride, but it was not a welcoming place.

Through the efforts of Deb Horberg and Linda Roman that has all changed. The two women visit LTC on a regular basis as Horberg’s husband and Roman’s brother are residents of LTC.

In their conversations, they discussed how the entryway area could serve as a welcome to visiting family and friends and their mission began by approaching the staff at the Hammond-Henry Hospital Foundation with their plan to “freshen the space,:” which included installing a cabinet to hold trash and salt to be used for slippery walks in addition to a fresh coat of paint and a wall mural. Horberg and Roman agreed to undertake the effort of organizing the painting and artistic touches with a mural.

The walls were painted by Cindy Ey with paint donated by Chicago Street Decorating Center.

Geneseo High School art teacher Kim Windisch enlisted the talents of three GHS art students and the young artists worked around their busy end-of-year schedules to brighten the entryway. All time and supplies were donated.

Windisch said when she was approached with the idea of a mural in the entryway, she felt it would be a great opportunity for the students to be involved in the community…”Sara DeGarmo (also an art teacher at GHS) and I appreciate being able to get the kids involved in as many community efforts as possible. The floral mural was designed and completed by them on their own time.”

The completed mural features a display of flowers, butterflies, bees and these words: “Welcome family & friends.”

What previously was “just a place to enter,” is now a huge work of “heart.”