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Harvard Art Donation Enhances Community Spirit at Cambridge Health Alliance
Posted Date: 1/12/2012

Cambridge, MA...Public healthcare system Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is the recipient of a handmade mural donated by the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard. The installation took months of planning, designing, and prepping before it was recently hung at CHA's Cambridge Hospital campus, adding a spirit of warmth, community, and a touch of whimsy.

"The mural will bring a human touch to the high-tech hospital environment," said Allison Newsome, an instructor for the Ceramics Program who led her students in creating the artwork for CHA. "Cambridge Health Alliance was chosen for this project because it is a community hospital that works with courage and determination to serve the needs of a very varied and underserved population. It is good to give back to those who give."

Newsome's group of students created the mural over six months, utilizing indigenous clay from local historic brick manufacturer Stiles and Hart Company. The students incorporated the clay from Stiles and Hart in the center tile for each vignette of the mural, serving as the "heart" of each section of the creation. The mural was installed outside of CHA's Women's Health Center for visiting patients and their families to view, as much of the art reflects the diversity of CHA's patients and the Cambridge community.

The mural will be dedicated on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, during a reception at the Cambridge Hospital campus (1493 Cambridge St.). The event, which will take place from 4 - 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. CHA is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Caption: Students from the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard glaze sections of a mural in advance of its installation at Cambridge Health Alliance's Cambridge Hospital campus.

A video of the mural project by contributing artist Marek Jacisin is available on his youtube channel.


Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health system committed to providing high quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine.