New mural completed in Vail Health
Local artists Amy Dose and Carly Finke completed the new 2000 square foot mural this Thursday
The interior of Vail Health has brightened up thanks to a new mural that was completed this week, designed and painted by local artists Amy Dose and Carly Finke.
The recently built east wing of the hospital, which opened in 2020, features a long corridor that connects the emergency care facilities to the surgical rooms. The hallway is a well-trafficked area of the hospital that is frequented by the medical staff, as well as patients going in for surgical procedures.
In its original state, the hallway was painted a plain, dark gray color. Finke, who helped design the new mural, had a personal experience moving through the original hall when her boyfriend injured himself and had to be transported through the hallway to receive surgery.
“It felt very asylum-like, very medical and nerve-racking,” Finke said. “It was very serious, and not like, ‘OK, let’s get fixed, let’s get better’.”
Dose and Finke were tasked with transforming around 2,000 square feet of gray wall into an inviting space that would have a positive impact on both patients and staff members alike. The resulting piece makes use of various triangular shapes that widen in some areas to mimic mountains and thin in others to mimic trees. The simple geometric shapes create a minimalist pattern that is soothing, while also connecting the viewer to the natural wonderland that exists right outside the hospital walls.
“The purpose of the piece was to make it have more life,” Dose said. “From the very beginning, we both agreed that we wanted the space to feel lively, but also calming at the same time. Compassionate and warm, but bright.”
The color selection for the mural was critical for achieving the feel that Dose and Finke envisioned, and the muted pastel tones that they chose touch on all the colors of the rainbow without overwhelming the senses.
“We spent a lot of time with paint chips on the floor, and imagining what it would feel like to walk through them,” Dose said. “Even though they are bright colors, they’re also earth tones, so they’re not so vivid that they scream at you. All these colors are colors that you see in nature.”
When walking through the mural, one gets the sense of strolling through the valley at sunset, with soft pink, purple and blue mountains rising alongside evergreen trees, all bathed in alpenglow hues. For those that spend most or all of their day inside the building, the once-bland hallway now brings the beauty and life of the mountains to the hospital halls.
“I feel really connected to this piece, more than any I’ve done recently,” Dose said. “With doing any kind of public art, you realize that art really does affect your well-being and your mindset, and that impact is so direct with this piece. The hallway, a physical transition between the old part of the hospital and new, the physical transition between the ER and the operating room, becomes a metaphor for the whole of life. It is our hope that the art we have created here becomes a comfort for those in all stages of life.”
The new mural was completed this Friday, after two weeks of application with help from fellow local artist Michelle Miller. Dose and Finke said that they were honored to have the opportunity to transform the space for the innumerable patients and staff who will walk through their work in the years to come, and that the project has connected with both of them on a personal level.
“It really hit home for me on our third or fourth round of designs,” Finke said. “My grandpa was in and out of the hospital, my cousin was in and out of the hospital, and it all kind of hit me what we were working on, and how valuable such a project is. Hospitals are a big part of my family, and everything with COVID was wild, so just to be able to give my input in the hospital world is important. That was really powerful, and it’s what is emotionally sitting with me now.”
To see more of the artists’ work, follow them on Instagram at @amy.dose.artist and @carly_finke.