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Arts Programs

Arts Programs

Visual Arts

Art curator Susan Willoughby discusses the health system's
vast collection


Artwork has the ability to stimulate imagination and elevate the human spirit. And in a clinical environment, art has the power to promote serenity and encourage healing. That is why UC Davis Health System has long commissioned artwork for the public areas of its facilities.

Placement of artwork in waiting rooms, lobbies, corridors and other areas is one expression of our concern for the well-being of patients and their families, as well as other members of the health system community.

Works of art are on display throughout the entire Sacramento campus, in outlying buildings, the Placer Center for Health in Rocklin, and other medical offices throughout the Sacramento and surrounding communities.

Some of the artwork on display at the Sacramento campus recognizes and commemorates aspects of the health system itself, while other pieces are fanciful, abstract or representational.

Photo of artist Yoshio Taylor
Yoshio Taylor hand-carves clay tiles for lobby mural

“Resurgence,” a 32-foot high tile mural of a waterfall surrounded by medicinal plants and whimsical fauna now greets visitors in the new lobby of UC Davis Medical Center. The work, by well-known Sacramento artist Yoshio Taylor, is the crown jewel of the newly constructed surgery and emergency services pavilion, which also now displays more than 200 other works from a wide range of area artists.

A photo of Roger Barry's glass and steel sculpture
"Emergence" by Roger Barry adds a crowning touch to the Education Building where medical, nursing and public health classes are held.

In our Education Building a photo essay by Kurt Fishback celebrates the bright, inquisitive, studious faces of UC Davis medical students. Roger Barry's glass and steel sculpture "Emergence" adds a soaring focal point above the Education Building's courtyard.

And an art collection at UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) consists entirely of works produced by artists — both children and adults — who have neurodevelopmental disorders. The art is also featured in the book Art of the MIND, which is available for sale.

The health system’s art acquisitions program has operated since 1983. It is managed by Nancy Gordon, a senior project manager and designer in the Facilities, Design and Construction Department. Nancy, who oversees the acquisitions budget, relies upon the recommendations of Susan Willoughby, an arts advisor who has worked with the health system for more than two decades. Nancy and Susan are part of an Art Advisory Committee chaired by Katrina Sohrakoff, administrative fellow, Office of the Chief Executive Officer and Leslie Moore, assistant director, Administrative and Professional Services.

The Art Advisory Committee is responsible for ensuring that donated and commissioned artworks collectively reflect the rich artistic, cultural and ethnic diversity of our region. The collection now encompasses more than 2,000 pieces created by more than 280 artists.

The Art Advisory Committee is actively seeking artists who want to help build a healing and welcoming environment for our patients and their families and friends.  If you would like to make a difference in the lives of our patients by donating artwork or would like more information about the acquisition process, please send an e-mail to the committee chairs. Though the committee deeply appreciates the generosity of the artists who are willing to donate their work, all donations must go through a screening process to ensure that the pieces are suitable for the hospital setting and would have an appropriate home in the health system.

Acquisitions are funded annually as part of the health system’s facilities, design and construction budget. If you would like your work to be considered for selection, please send an e-mail to the UC Davis Health System Art Committee at