Friday, July 24, 2009

Loving Kindness Sculpture
Unveiled at York Hospital

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
There is a unique sculpture of cradled hands in the lobby at York Hospital, a physical depiction of the hospital’s vision – that of Loving Kindness. The work of art, created by sculptor Sumner Winebaum, was unveiled last week to a large crowd of friends of the hospital and hospital staff.
“Loving kindness is really the foundation of our exceptional patient care,” Michael McGrath, chairman of the hospital Board of Trustees said in opening the ceremony. “Today we unveil a symbol (of loving kindness) that will welcome and greet all of our patients as well as their families when they come to York Hospital. Sumner’s sculpture is a spectacular piece of artwork and will embrace our patients, their families, friends and staff with loving kindness.”
Winebaum said it was a pleasure working with hospital President Jud Knox and the hospital staff. He described the process for creating a piece of this kind, including the work with the foundry and others.
Knox had approached Winebaum with the idea of creating something tangible to depict the hospital’s vision. He thanked him and the Winebaum Family Trust that aided in covering the work’s cost.
Other speakers at the ceremony included staff members Barb Green, Meghan Brandt, Jon Houghton and Mel Barron.
Winebaum collaborated with architect Stuart Dawson and base creator Albert Raitt. Dawson is a principal in the multidisciplinary design firm Sasaki and Associates of Watertown, Mass. Raitt owns A.W. Raitt Stoneyard in Eliot. All were present at the unveiling.
The sculpture weighs more than 3500 pounds, and the process to install it took several people well over three hours to complete.
Winebaum has done more than a hundred portrait commission busts along with numerous other works. A graduate of Portsmouth High School and the University of Michigan, he has pursued three careers: at Young & Rubicam, New York as an advertising writer; president of Young & Rubicam, Italy; and later, Young & Rubicam, France; then as president of Winebaum News, which became the largest distributor of books, magazines and newspapers north of Boston. But always from the earliest, taking evening studies at New York’s Art Students League to his current full-time engagement as sculptor, he has worked to learn this craft.
York Hospital has been providing care to Southern Maine residents and visitors for over 100 years. It is a modern facility known for its cardiology program, emergent care center, extensive inpatient and outpatient services and campus locations in Wells, York, South Berwick, Berwick and Kittery.
Photo caption: Sculptor Sumner Winebaum, center, with Michael McGrath, right, dark suit, with the hands as they were unveiled. (Courtesy photo)