Local artists display hundreds of pieces at new St. Mary’s Medical Center

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 10:56 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - For the past couple of years, Essentia Health put a call out for local artwork to be featured inside its new hospital and dozens of artists answered.

Hundreds of pieces are on display in the new St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Ann Klefstad was one of the local artists chosen with her piece “Three Realms” which represents the sky, water, and earth around us.

Ann Klefstad "Three Realms"
Ann Klefstad "Three Realms"(Northern News Now)

She said she designed the piece specifically for the space hoping it can help connect with a patient’s journey inside Essentia.

“If you are in the hospital you are focused on your own body, often focused on the negative aspect of your body, it’s sick or it’s injured, and so what art can do, is it can restore your relationship with the larger world,” said Klefstad.

Klefstad said it was an honor to be chosen among the 80 other local artists and have her work featured inside the hospital.

Karen Savage-Blue, a member of the Fond du Lac Tribe of Ojibwe, was also chosen to display her artwork.

Karen Savage-Blue's artwork displayed in the new St. Mary's Medical Center
Karen Savage-Blue's artwork displayed in the new St. Mary's Medical Center(Northern News Now)

Born and raised in Duluth, she said no matter where she moved away to, Lake Superior would always call her back home.

Due to this, she wanted to communicate that in her painting making sure to include earth elements of water, air, white pine trees from the region, and native animals in the Northland.

“It’s important to have art that is created from this environment,” said Savage-Blue. “It is important to have that art shown within that environment. It acts as a reminder to us for why we are here, why we live here, and especially why we stay here.”

Savage-Blue states she is happy that Essentia has Native American representation within the hospital.

She said everyone should heal from the past, in turn helping patients heal moving forward.

You can see Klefstad’s piece between the 6th and 7th floors and Savage-Blue’s artwork on the concourse floor of the hospital.

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