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The Big Picture

Jan 5, 2010

Visual Arts Professor Calms Patients with New Mural in Hospital Lobby

Completed Mural
Shown from left to right: Lucinda Kasser (Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts), Carol Farron (Director of Community Development, Lodi Memorial Hospital), Robin Knowlton (Knowlton Gallery/Artist's Agent), Nancy Reich (Construction Project Manager, LMH).

When you walk into the lobby of the new wing of Lodi Memorial Hospital, you can't help but notice the pastoral scene welcoming you into the building. Visual Arts Professor Lucinda Kasser was commissioned to paint a 5 ½ by 33 foot mural and two smaller paintings for the facility. The panorama is intended to help put patients at ease and make them feel cared for.

Lucinda Kasser's husband, Visual Arts Professor Daniel Kasser, assisted with the concept and design of the mural. Do the images look familiar? The landscape depicted in the mural is a composite of scenes from along the Mokelumne River starting from the Comanche Reservoir in the east to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in the west. To gather imagery for the mural design, the Kassers made many excursions photographing the landscape along the river.

Lucinda Kasser created the mural with acrylic paints.  She worked from her home studio, painting as many as nine hours a day during the summer months. The completed mural was installed on October 16, and the new wing has opened this January. Below are photos of the work in progress.

Stefan Sekula helps with Lucinda Kasser's project      Stefan Sekula helps with Lucinda Kasser's project
With the assistance of Stefan Sekula, a master craftsman from Design Woodworking in Lodi, three panels, each measuring 5 ½' by 11' were constructed and transported to Lucinda Kasser's home studio.

Lucinda Kasser works on the project       Lucinda Kasser's project
Special scaffolding was built on the walls and over bookcases to fit the panels in the studio. Working from the smaller model she had created, Lucinda transferred the design onto the large panels, progressing from large blocks of color to smaller details.

Installing Lucinda Kasser's Mural     Installing Lucinda Kasser's Mural
On October 16, 2009, the completed mural was delivered to the hospital lobby for installation. Under Daniel Kasser's supervision, the hanging system was mounted and installation began with the center panel. Final touches were made fourteen feet up!

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