Lakeland commissions sculpture for pavilion
Photo provided

ST. JOSEPH — Lakeland Health has hired a Spanish artist to create a sculpture symbolizing health and well-being for the rising Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion, the hospital announced.

Community members, Lynn and Mike Todman, donated $100,000 to fund the piece, Lakeland reported in a news release. The sculpture, to be unveiled when the pavilion is completed in 2020, depicts two hands meeting – a handshake of peace, togetherness, and learning – their fingertips touching and curling together like two strands of genetic code.

“Lakeland Health has inspired me to create an artwork that represents the very best of us and our species,” Solano, of Spain’s Basque region, stated in the news release. “This is because medical facilities epitomize our finest qualities. The commitment to advancing and sharing knowledge so as to cure, heal, and assuage pain. The commitment to treat each person as an end in themselves; as a complete, unique living being. The commitment to better ourselves for the benefit of all.”

Michael Todman, a member of Lakeland’s Board of Directors, said in the news release that “It is our hope that the artwork will move and inspire all who enter Lakeland. We want Lakeland to be a place where people of all backgrounds feel welcomed and cared for.”

In 1984, Solano won his first public commission and installed his sculpture, “Freedom,” on the streets of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Since then his sculptural career has included works in public spaces throughout Spain and in other parts of the world, including Canada, France, South Korea, Seattle and Minnesota.

Community members have donated nearly $5.2 million in support of the pavilion.