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Glass Fish Hanging from the Ceiling at CHKD

The Gallery of Glass Fish

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In the summer of 2012, two things happened that would become one. It was decided that CHKD's lobby needed a facelift. At just about the same time, Therman Statom started diving into the who, what, where, why and how of CHKD.

Statom is a glass artist. In fact, he's one of the best in the world and he was looking for a pediatric hospital in the Hampton Roads area that might be interested in working with him on an installation of glass art. He visited CHKD and was struck by not only the child-centric environment but the diverse and bustling everyday norm of CHKD.

It was a perfect match.

He reached out to CHKD with the idea of doing something special. One thing led to another. The plan was put in place, the vision became reality and CHKD has taken on a look and feel that is simply amazing.

Therman Statom and Jackson HartmanFor a year, Statom met with architects, designers and engineers as his dream became CHKD's reality. The plan was to hang a collection of glass fish from the ceiling of CHKD's lobby, creating a room like no other. Statom's one-of-a-kind, aquatic-themed, glass installation began to take true shape in October. In conjunction with this project, The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk donated its glass studio ... and the glass.

Statom worked not only for the patients but with the patients, having them design the fish he created.

A Little About Therman Statom

  • He began his study of glass as an art medium at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Wash., in 1971, going on to study sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design. He received the Bachelor of Art from that institution in 1974 and the Master of Art from Pratt Institute School of Art and Design in 1978.
  • He is currently developing an installation for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institute, among a multitude of other projects.

Statom recognized early on that his art would have more meaning if it was applied in environments that wouldn't normally house it, such as a hospital. And a hospital made sense, for Statom's father was a physician and his mother was into holistic medicine, a unique combination. It probably has a lot to do with why he is what he is.

Statom firmly believes this is an unusual collaboration designed to enhance the hospital experience for families with sick children, spread a little joy to the children undergoing life-threatening illnesses, and make them part of the process to give them a deeper understanding of the healing power of art. Statom said he wants to "redefine what a hospital does, how it functions in our society, and what it means to be a patient today in a pediatric setting."

(757) 668-7070

Watch CHKD's Gallery of Glass Fish Come to Life