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Composition for a Yellow Wall

Composition for a Yellow Wall, 2015 The DHMC Arts Program is pleased to announce the temporary installation of Composition for a Yellow Wall by noted Vermont artist, Barbara Garber. The installation is located on the 5th Floor East Mall. The piece is the inaugural project for this public art space. Barbara created the site-specific piece on-site for 3 days in April 2015, while passersby were able to watch the process.

Barbara, seen working at right, wrote the following statement about the experience of bringing this project to life:

Last fall, I decided to explore the possibility of doing a site-specific public art project at DHMC. I wanted to make a temporary piece directly on a wall. Looking around you can see that art is appreciated and valued in this environment. I contacted Marianne Barthel, the arts coordinator for the hospital and she was enthusiastic about my idea. I made a proposal to the art committee who were supportive. However, this is still a hospital and not a museum or gallery. There were certain concerns: I could do what I liked as long as absolutely no damage was done to the wall. "Do No Harm" became my working title.

So, finding the right material was crucial. At Staples, to my delight, I discovered a thin film on which I could print and draw; it adhered to the wall and could be removed without damage. Now I was on my way.

At the end of April I brought the elements I made in my studio up to the hospital. Actually working on the wall was the most exciting time for me. I spent the next three days improvising: making the shapes and colors animate the wall was like creating a dance or a piece of music; this was scary and exhilarating. People stopped by to chat. They asked questions that were interesting. I wanted the opportunity to react to a public space, to enliven a place where staff, patients and families spend time, and to engage people in the process.

Near the end of the third day a woman asked me whether the wall was finished. I said, "Yes I think so. What do you think?" She thought it was a work in progress. I have to agree. It's definitely a piece about process. In that sense I might make it differently every day.

"Composition for a Yellow Wall" will be taken down in a few months leaving room, hopefully for others to follow. This is part of its appeal to me.

Barbara Garber, April 30, 2015

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