Planning the installation of the M.R.I. mural was no small task. This was not just any 'nail it to the wall' art installation but one with many considerations to address, as it was to be installed in a highly magnetized environment. The magnet is on at all times because it is too costly to turn off.
Due to the extreme magnetic force within the room, everyone who entered would have to be body scanned for any metal on their body. One artist admitted to a piece of metal that might be lodged in her eye, from a past accident in her studio. She was told she would not be able to enter the room. Anyone entering the room was required to fill out a 3-page personal information form. No screws, hammers, metal screwdrivers or metal tools permitted in the room. We had to use paper tape measures for gathering dimensions. Even small metal objects like a paper clip can be lethal to anyone in its path if accidentally brought into the room.
The final piece installed is the 16’x6’ mural titled “Fishnet” reflects a visual collage of underwater sea life. It is colorful, fun and filled with images that staff can point to and distract the patient undergoing an M.R.I.
Collaborating with others is key to the success of any project. Donations of paint and other materials from a neighborhood hardware store aided towards the completion of the fishnet project.
“This has been a very challenging project, one that started out with a plan for an area and had to be revamped to accommodate the type of area it was, says Kenn Speiser, principle Public Art Works. It’s very interesting creating art in a highly restricted public space and also having to work within architectural and engineering specifications, but this is part of what we do as artists.”