Comfort in ‘Red, White and Blue’ on Magruder’s Healing Wall

Jul 5, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The Healing Wall’s current exhibit featuring artwork in red, white and blue will be displayed through August. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


Amongst the red, white and blue houses, boats and flags in the new Healing Wall art exhibit at Magruder Hospital is a mixed media work by Marblehead artist Debra Sue Solecki that will give visitors pause — over and over again -– as they study the painting’s complexities. As employees and patients take breaks in the hallway from the stress and worry of hospital life, they can easily get lost in the depth and intricacies of her piece, “Growing Up OH.”

Solecki’s painting is one of 32 works created by members of the Port Clinton Artists’ Club (PCAC) that were hung at the Healing Wall on Thursday, June 29. This exhibit’s “Red, White and Blue” theme was selected by exhibit chair Beth Akins. The exhibit will be displayed for two months.

Exhibit chair Beth Akins chose the exhibit’s Red, White and Blue theme. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

It takes time to absorb all the details in “Growing Up OH,” which starts with a map of Ohio and includes regional images from across the state and the letters “OHIO” hidden amongst the pictorial glimpses of life in Ohio.

“I spent a lot of time thinking through the values, the lights and the darks,” Solecki said. “What people say about this piece is that they can look at it 100 times and see something new. It’s great to have it here, where people can spend time with it and study it.”

The Healing Wall is a continual project of the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council (GPCAAC), which collaborated with PCAC on the exhibit. GPCAAC member Chris Sacksteder was inspired to create the exhibit in 2013 with the help of current GPCAAC President Carol Morgan and Vice President Keith Fleming.

Chris and Andy Sacksteder hang photos for the Red, White and Blue exhibit on the Healing Wall at Magruder Hospital on June 29. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“I did all the research and the three of us presented the idea to the Magruder CEO,” Sacksteder said. “It didn’t take long for them to say yes. They were enthusiastically very nice.”

Sacksteder said the exhibit’s organizers favor Port Clinton area artists, and they don’t have difficulty finding locals to participate.

“The artists are really happy to offer something to patients who may be in stressful circumstances. This is in the radiology hallway, where people are sometimes under a lot of stress,” Sacksteder said.

Rosemary Schramm, left, helps Debra Sue Solecki hang her mixed media work, “Growing Up OH,” on the Healing Wall. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Most of the art in the Healing Wall is available for purchase.

“The employees love this. They are usually the biggest buyers,” Sacksteder said.

The Port Clinton Artists’ Club will host the 65th Annual Arts in the Park at Lakeview Park on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 at 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Aug. 6 at 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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