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The Art Consulting and Installation Process for St. Francis Interquest: Bringing the ‘Hospital of the Future’ to Life

When it comes to designing a new hospital, it’s critical to consider every detail, from the layout of the facility to the smallest aesthetic touches such as a strategically placed sculpture, or a framed piece of art on the wall. One of the most memorable aspects of entering a hospital is often the artwork on display and the story that it tells, which can evoke a sense of calm and comfort in patients and visitors alike. For the St. Francis Interquest Hospital in Colorado Springs, the art consulting and installation process was a critical component of bringing their vision for the ‘hospital of the future’ to life. In this post, we’ll dive into the unique approach we took, including the procurement of a massive 19 ft by 11 ft mixed media installation, and the overall process we used to bring art to this impressive new facility.

At Noyes Art Designs, we believe that art should be an integral part of any space, and that includes healthcare facilities. For St. Francis Interquest, we took a storytelling approach to our art consulting process to bring the spirit and meaning of St. Francis to life through the artwork. St. Francis loved all of God’s creation, including animals and plants, humanity, rocks, wind, and the entire universe. We collaborated with the hospital team to decide on a strategic direction to ensure we would create an atmosphere of comfort, faith, and healing. 


With that goal in mind, we developed an artwork layout that focused on the St Francis hymn of praise, “The Canticles of the Creatures” which summarizes his journey to God in and through the beautiful things of creation. This is the theme of the artwork throughout all four floors of the hospital, with each floor having art that relates to a different part of the hymn. This allows patients, visitors, physicians, and staff to also take St. Francis’ journey.

First Floor: The Canticles of Creatures

A 17ft wall mural of St Francis with handing transparent glassbirds
Artist: Bonny Lhotka

One of the standout pieces we commissioned was a massive 19 ft by 11 ft mixed media installation for the first floor of the hospital. It features all of the natural elements that are mentioned in the canticles, water, earth, fire, and air. As visitors walk in through the front door, past the elevators and reception desk, they are greeted by the unfolding Canticle's story leading towards the cafeteria and just outside the chapel within the hospital.

This piece unexpectedly came to fruition with a different vision than originally intended. In the beginning, the client and our team wanted a large organic and abstract wall sculpture that focused on birds as they are representative of spirituality and a lot of soft blue hue to represent air and water. However, as you can see in the image below of the installation, the vision for it grew. Since they are so heavily influenced by St. Francis the vision shifted into showing a more obvious sign of their religious and spiritual origin in the work. While working with their chaplain at the time who recommended using “The Canticles'' as inspiration, it allowed the final piece to be a reflection of St. Francis standing there as “The Dancing St Francis” who is joyous rather than the more common depiction of a more serious St Francis who is always seen preaching to the animals. We were still able to utilize the design elements of birds in the installation but rather than being the sole focal point, they are complementary to St. Francis. 

A 17ft wall mural of St Francis with handing transparent glassbirds
Artist: Bonny Lhotka

Second and Third Floor: Flowers, Mountains and Natural Elements

The second floor was designed to fit the theme based on this line in the canticle; 

“Praised be you, my Lord,

through our Sister, Mother Earth,

who sustains us and directs us

bringing forth all kinds of fruits

and colored flowers and herbs.” (The Canticle of the Creatures). 

It featured a variety of flowers and mountains that created a very earthy atmosphere and also highlighted the various natural landscapes and landmarks across the Colorado Springs area. Additionally, this floor was custom with originals commissioned specifically for this project and the theme of the floor to reflect Colorado Springs and The Canticles of the Creatures. There was a focus on patient rooms as well to help create a flow between the open areas of the hospital floors and the private patient rooms. All of the patient rooms were fitted with licensed photography from local Colorado Springs artists.

The plains and hills of colorado with vivid colors
Artist: Topher Straus

We took this stanza to create a natural wonderland on this floor, where colorful blooms of flowers and mountain peaks showcase the beauty of the Colorado Springs area combine to create a truly enchanting composition as you move through all of the spaces on this floor. The beauty and tranquility of nature come alive through the artwork to capture the essence of the earth that The Canticles portray. It allows patients and visitors to be immersed in the authentic beauty of our city while receiving top-notch care in thoughtfully designed patient rooms. 

The plains and hills of colorado a landscape
Artist: Laura Reilly

The clouds in the sky
Artist: Laura Guese

The third floor followed the theme from the stanzas in The Canticles of the Creatures; 

“Brother wind and air, Sister water and fire 

And praised be you, my Lord,

through Brother Wind, through

air and cloud, through calm

and every weather by which

you sustain your creatures.

Praised be you, my Lord,

through Sister Water,

so very useful and humble,

precious and chaste.

Praised be you, my Lord

through Brother Fire,

by whom you light up

the night, and he is

handsome and merry,

robust and strong” (The Canticles of Creatures

The earth and sun in space
Artist: Darrell Anderson

This floor has captivating art design from a curated collection showcasing a diverse range of elements, each exuding its own unique allure. There are fiery hues and sharp angles that evoke the energetic essence of fire. The element of air is captured with tranquil cloud-like installations that effortlessly float above visitors and patients as they move through the floor. The fluidity of water is shown through pieces that have hues of blue and showcase graceful movements. And finally, the breathtaking paintings that offer a fresh perspective of the often overlooked plains of Colorado Springs county. 

a beautiful green field with flowers and a blue sky
Artist: Darrell Anderson

The Fourth Floor: Space and Movement

A celestial oasis that we created can be found on the fourth floor of the hospital, where The Canticles of the Creatures line; 

“Praised be you, my Lord,

through Sister Moon and Stars.

In heaven you have formed them,

lightsome and precious and fair.” (The Canticles of Creatures

Is brought to life. As you step off the elevator, be captivated by a stunning artwork depicting the harmonious dance of the moon and sun. Journey further and encounter extraordinary life-sized climbers going up the wall. These captivating installations are intricately connected to the orthopedic side of the hospital, symbolizing the power of motion and movement in healing. This artistic experience seamlessly merges art and wellness on the fourth floor. 

glass life sized human figurines climbing the wall.

Our Art Consulting Process: 

Our art consulting process began with an Artwork Kickoff Meeting in March 2021 with a hands-on approach, working closely with the St. Francis Interquest team to ensure they were fully satisfied with the artwork we selected. We took a highly collaborative approach with the hospital, establishing long-term relationships with the team members, and working through any issues that arose all the way until we installed everything in June 2023. Our goal was to create a unique and inviting atmosphere that would put patients and visitors at ease. 

Over the years, we’ve established a reputation for expertise and experience in the art consulting space. To bring our vision to life for St. Francis Interquest, we collaborated with the architectural design firm HuntonBrady Architects. They had envisioned the elemental water theme for the interior design and furniture in which Noyes began to compliment that theme with artwork that seamlessly fit into it. It was important to figure out how the art elements could complement the physical space and the furniture and finishes on walls that they built. Our partnership allowed us to offer a completely aligned high quality experience for our client.

We were thrilled with how our art consulting process and installation process came together for St. Francis Interquest, and we couldn’t be prouder of how the art has enhanced the overall atmosphere of the space. By employing a hands-on approach, and working closely with the hospital and design firm, we were able to bring a unique and sophisticated design to this impressive new facility. Our commitment to establishing long-term relationships with our clients helped us to create a sense of comfort from the first moment that patients and visitors walk through the door, allowing us to transform the hospital into a true 'hospital of the future’.

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