Art Collection Goes Hi-Tech
It’s not unusual to see artwork in a hospital. It is, however, unusual to see one of the largest collections of original work by Kansas artists. The Governor’s Arts Award-winning Hadley Foundation Collection is on permanent loan to HaysMed for the viewing pleasure of patients, associates, and visitors. Thanks to the underwriting of the Hadley Foundation, the support of curator Mark Hantla, and the efforts of Fort Hays State University Art History Graduate Student Amiyah Brown, the collection is getting a technology upgrade.
Brown started the project as an intern in the summer of 2022 by conducting an extensive inventory of the nearly 500 works of art in the collection. Over the coming months, an online tool will allow anyone to enjoy the collection and the Kansas artists it represents from anywhere in the world. Of course, there’s nothing like standing right in front of a piece of art to appreciate its scale and experience it the way the artist intended, so Brown is facilitating significant upgrades for our on-campus visitors as well. Small, electronic tags are being installed by each piece in the collection that will allow visitors to access all the information simply by scanning a QR code or tapping the tag with their NFC enabled mobile device. Visitors will be able to navigate to their favorite pieces using hallway maps developed by Brown. Additionally, they’ll have access to artist biographies, images, and in some cases, videos featuring the artists or the art they’ve created.
The collection of original work began in 1974 at Hadley Regional Medical Center with a vision by then CEO Don Stewart and grew under the curatorship of John Thorns. Hantla worked closely with Thorns over the years and began his tenure as curator upon Thorns’ passing in 2014.
The virtual tour will take time to assemble, but we welcome you to visit haysmedfoundation.org/hadleyart/ to follow its progress anytime. While you’re there, enter the online drawing for a chance to win a gift certificate to HaysMed’s Corner Gift Shop. Click here for contest details.