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Mosaic Artists Help With Healing at Henry Ford Hospital

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center teacher from Huntington Woods calls mosaics her "addiction" and hopes that they can help patients.

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital recently received 36 mosaic pieces donated from the Mosaic Artists of Michigan, which created an interesting situation for Huntington Woods artist Joan Schwartz, a retired pediatric nurse at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.

"It's an addiction for me," said Schwartz, a member of MAM. "I'm out and about and I see an acorn or a pushpin or a bottle cap and I think, this can be used for a piece. Every place I look, I see things that can be used." 

The 12" x 12" artworks are part of the hospital’s Healing Arts Program, which includes visual art exhibits and concerts. In keeping with the nature-themed art throughout the hospital, 31 artists worked in four subjects: birds, flowers, hearts, and trees for the donated pieces.

"This donation is a wonderful addition to the hospital’s art collection and the Art Walking Tour," said Michelle Meier Malloch, director of Henry Ford’s Healing Arts Program. "All of the artists created one-of-a-kind pieces and we are very grateful to them for their generous gift."

Visitors to the West Bloomfield hospital can see the art on the "Michigan Avenue" hall in the facility.

Schwartz said that she has been an artist most of her life despite having little formal training, working in clay, 3D mixed media and fiber, before discovering mosaics eight years ago. Now she teaches the art at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.

Also on display is a large glass and mixed-media work, Where We Live, by Schwartz and her MAM colleague Jacqui Ridley, which was part of the 2010 Art Prize exhibition in Grand Rapids. It is currently on loan to the hospital.

"It’s a beautiful setting and we’re honored. We were thrilled that the hospital was so enthusiastic about having our work," said Schwartz, who added that she is currently working on commission for her former employer on displayed art.

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