First phase of ‘Healing Reflections’ mural to be unveiled in Eau Claire

April 19, 2021

For nearly a year, Northwest Wisconsin’s Healing Arts Committee has been collecting and sharing healing stories about 2020 from staff and community members about 2020. These stories have inspired works of art to be combined into a large mural.

The “Healing Reflections” mural focuses on the historic nature of 2020, reflecting themes of healing, resilience, inclusion, diversity, hope and economic hardship. 

“People heal by gaining insight and understanding of another’s experience, and also by validating their own experiences,” says Todd Wright, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery.

Orthopedic surgeon
Todd Wright, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, stands near newly completed portions of the “Healing Reflections” mural assembled from stories and art depicting themes from 2020. Dr. Wright, and Patricia Kleine, provost at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, developed the concept of pairing stories with art to provide inspiration.

A key part of this project was to make it viewable online. You can view the mural artwork and read the stories that inspired it from the comfort and safety of your home.

“In telling and then sharing these stories, healing moments occur,” says Dr Wright. 

Once completed, the mural will be about 45 feet long. Sections of the mural will be shown at Mayo Clinic Health System sites across Northwest Wisconsin. The initial sections of the “Healing Reflections” mural will be on display, beginning Friday, March 19, in the Luther Lobby in Eau Claire.

“We are thrilled to see the project come to life as a beautiful work of art,” Dr. Wright says.

Once completed, plans will be made for showings in the Eau Claire community. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire also is collaborating on this project and will have its own mural to showcase.

“It has been amazing to see the collaboration of our community partners on this project,” says Dr. Wright. “Every partner was committed to promoting healing through the arts.”

Behind every mask …

Todd Comstock, Medical-Surgical, his daughter and her family started making masks for people at the beginning of the pandemic. The masks were used in Wisconsin and around the nation, and they were distributed worldwide. Comstock’s daughter’s story, “Behind Every Mask Is a Story,” is depicted in the mural artwork of Tracy Kennedy, Spiritual Care.

“I am so thrilled to see the mural is coming to fruition,” says Comstock. “My family and I are looking forward to seeing the mural. Just keeping her dad safe was not my daughter’s only mission.”

Learn more

Learn more by viewing a video about the Healing Reflections mural:

For more information about how you can contribute to this project, contact Sara Martinek, Patient Experience.

Members of the Healing Reflections Committee

Members of the Healing Reflections mural committee not pictured above are: Cindy Ming, Administration; Gordon Howie, Facilities Services; Robert Peck, M.D., Psychiatry; Tina Tharp, Community Engagement and Wellness;  Karen Myhre, M.D., Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine; Jodi Dotseth, Rehabilitation Services; Terri Luke, Medical-Surgical; Amy Schneider, Medical-Surgical; and Patricia Kleine, provost at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.