TMC Nominated for Public Art Award; Employees Weigh In

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Tucson Medical Center has been nominated for a 2012 Lumie Arts & Business Award for our work in promoting and supporting public art.

The Tucson Pima Arts Council every year issues the award to recipients in 10 different categories, ranging from an outstanding arts educator to an innovative emerging artist and a dedicated arts patron.

TMC was one of three nominees in the public art partner category.

Tucson Pima Arts Council spokesman Charles Jensen said although he cannot share the details of the nomination, what he can say is that the entire organization was nominated for the work that’s been done with public art.

Winners will be announced at a June 15 recognition ceremony at the El Casino ballroom.

Richard Prevallet, the vice president in charge of facilities at Tucson Medical Center, said he was heartened to hear about the nomination, since hospital leadership feels strongly that arts and open space enrich the community.

“We have done a great deal to ensure that the public has a chance to interact with outdoor space,” Prevallet said.

“We not only try to incorporate public art to create a unique environment for healing on the campus, but we try to do it in a way that honors our past and celebrates our future.”

As an example, TMC is expected to begin construction of a Founders Garden at the Beverly entrance in the fourth quarter of this year, with design features intended to be symbolic of key points in TMC’s history. For example, the “Erickson Arch” symbolizes the support that the couple provided to the Desert Sanatorium, while a timeline along the curving walk will tell the TMC “firsts” in sandblasted stone. Old pines will be preserved and honored.

Among the other projects TMC has undertaken to help beautify and strengthen the community:

  • The completion of a labyrinth outside of Hospice to allow visitors to reflect on the journey of life;
  • Walking trails circling the campus
  • Patio gardens designed, with the assistance of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, to draw a variety of species, from hummingbirds to butterflies
  • Sculptures and art work throughout various patios and hallways, the latest being a bronze by sculptor Hugh Thompson interpreting the story of the tortoise and the hare.
  • TMC for Children not only features “ball” sculptures out front and a colorful, sweeping new logo, but has a big pecan tree sculpture that doubles as a patient library and story-telling venue
  • Upcoming restoration planned for the Erickson House, which is awaiting word on a historic designation. The house, built in 1927, features many decorative elements, including hand-hewn posts and finely crafted shutters. The Patio and Arizona buildings likewise have been nominated for historic designation.

We asked employees to share their favorites with us. Please enjoy the slideshow of the nominations!


  1. I love the art and the gardens at TMC. Every time I walk the corridors I notice some new garden, or image that I hadn’t seen before. It brings a sense of calm.

  2. Donna Fulton, MD. says:

    There are two pieces that I love. There is a large oil outside of Administration of a Navajo girl laughing with her hand held over her mouth in embarrassment. The second piece I love is a small batik of two Navajo women under an umbrella in the first hall at Peppi’s house. TMC leads the nation, in my opinion, in a healing environment because of the layout, the courtyards, the colors and the art.

  3. Kathleen hart says:

    I love the bronze of the child holding out a birdbath. Beautiful.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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