An artistic vision now provides a landmark on the campus of Children's Hospital & Medical Center. Located at the corner of 84th Street and West Dodge Road, a sculpture named "Imagine" captivates passers-by and hospital guests. The work of art was installed in the fall of 2010, about a month after the new Children's Specialty Pediatric Center welcomed its first patients. But, the creative process that breathed life into Imagine started more than a year earlier. Photojournalist Peter Soby worked closely with artist Matthew Placzek and Children's Hospital & Medical Center to document each step, along with the surprising parallels that exist between an artist's studio and a healing environment. The result is the documentary you see here, "The Making of Imagine."
"Imagine" is the creation of Omaha artist and sculptor Matthew Placzek. Five bronze statues of children playing build up the hill to Children's Specialty Pediatric Center. A lighted spire rises up 76-feet inside a window-encased stairwell. Nineteen umbrellas twirl up the spire, each containing programmable LED lights capable of more than 16 million colors and combinations.
"It's my hope that the piece will bring a sense of joy to the families and patients at Children's," said Placzek. "It represents the nurturing, caring and healing of the many children who receive care here each year. And, with such a visible location, I want people who pass by to forget their daily challenges and enjoy the bronze children who are celebrating the simple joys of life."
Fun facts about "Imagine:"
Interior spire weighs 7,000 pounds and stands 76 feet tall
Features 23 umbrellas - 19 attached to spire, 4 carried by bronze statues of children
Umbrellas vary in diameter - four, six and seven feet
Each umbrella is constructed of aluminum and polycarbonate
Bronze statues weigh 3,500 pounds
3,500 individual LED lights are capable of 16.7 million different colors/combinations
"Imagine" was funded entirely by private donations.