A partnership among three local groups will provide art for Holmberg House – the new adult hospice set to open in April – and raise money for the Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS).
The project, called Oxygen for the Soul, was announced Tuesday during a media launch at Holmberg House, located on the Dave Lede Campus of Care next to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
The project involves 37 original artworks being permanently displayed throughout Holmberg House when it opens.
Before that, two silent auctions and a live auction will be held as fundraisers. The winning bidders will not get to keep the pieces, but will have their names, along with those of the artists, displayed on plaques with the artwork in Holmberg House.
Gaetan Royer, executive director of AHS, said the idea for the project emerged from the challenge of hiding medical equipment.
He said while Holmberg House designers paid attention to every detail to avoid an institutional look, oxygen and suction outlets have to be located near the head of each of the 10 patient beds.
After considering ways to hide these outlets, it was proposed to place them behind a sliding panel that would hold a painting by a B.C. artist.
“We’re turning a challenge into something beautiful for terminally ill patients and their families in our new hospice building,” Royer said.
A call for submissions resulted in 70 original works being considered by a jury and 37 pieces selected.
The works will be divided for the public to view and bid on from Feb. 18 to March 13 at The Reach (32399 Veterans Way) and the Kariton Gallery (2387 Ware St.).
On March 17 at 6 p.m., there will be an Oxygen for the Soul Reception and Auction fundraiser. Tickets for the event are available at The Reach, the Abbotsford Arts Council and AHS.
Holmberg House, operated by the Abbotsford Hospice Society, will provide end-of-life care to adults as young as 19 in a home-like setting. It is named for Dave Holmberg Jr., who died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 48.
The 30,000-square-foot facility will also include grief support groups, volunteer training, education seminars and one-on-one support services. For more information, visit abbotsfordhospice.org.