ARTS: Artful Healing

When Integris Health Edmond opened October 3, it opened not only its doors but its walls – walls adorned with more than 200 art pieces by Oklahoma City-based Kalida Art, a company that was founded on the idea of bringing together unique images to tell a story.“Our art pieces are all photographs,” said co-owner Randy Alvarado. “We are passionate about photos, and feel they are the best medium for walls, especially within the health care industry.” And with only a few exceptions, the photos are of nature. And Alvarado’s business partner, longtime photographer Mike Klemme, shot nearly all the images within a 20-mile radius of the hospital.“

Integris designed (the building) to bring the outside in, and we wanted to continue that plan through the art selection,” said Alvarado. “We wanted to pull the beautiful area surrounding the facility inside the building. Nature is… where we feel the most comfortable. If I told you to close your eyes and imagine a place where you feel the most calm and happy, you would likely envision something in nature — a beach, a mountain, a field of flowers. Those places are our happy places.”The Kalida process is what Alvarado and Klemme refer to as “artistic alchemy,” a combination of the physical imagery with the spiritual connection to that imagery. The process starts, Alvarado emphasized, with listening. “We ask the client what message they want their space to convey and then we dig deeper,” he said. “We help them use their wall space to tell their story.”

To help tell Integris’ story, a large close-up image of blowing grass titled “Fox Tail” is hung prominently in the main lobby. The piece is divid