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Wadena artist working on project for TCHC

Artist Brad Wegscheid is working on a ceramic tile project.1 / 3
These seven tiles show Brad Wegscheid's progress as of Monday, Sept. 26. The art piece will have 20 tiles on completion.2 / 3
Illustration by Brad Wegscheid: This is Wegscheid's sketch of how the final Caring Tree ceramic project is to look.3 / 3

Wadena artist Brad Wegscheid is working on a large ceramic project commissioned by Tri-County Health Care.

The Caring Tree is estimated to be complete around the middle of October and will be about five feet wide and four feet tall. The twenty 1-foot-square tiles will have a raised tree image, and people can attach "leaves" or messages of support for their loved ones.

"It's kind of a neat piece for the hospital, and the hospital's involved in the arts," he said.

Wegscheid has a variety of interests in art and has worked in ceramics, drawing, illustration and sculpture with found objects among other things.

"But I don't paint. That's one thing I don't do," he said.

He is also working on a children's book of alphabet alliterations.

Jenny Hoppe, who is in community relations at Tri-County Health Care, said the Caring Tree is one of the patient care projects in Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), a program developed to improve patient safety and increase nursing staff satisfaction to allow more one-on-one time with patients. It is also part of the Healing Arts program.

She said the nursing staff came up with the idea. It would be a quiet area for families to reflect and de-stress.

"What the caring tree wall will be is that these families can leave little notes of support by this piece of artwork, so that they can get it off of their chest and it can be shown," Hoppe said.

Near the ICU, there will be a quiet reflection area with the Caring Tree artwork.

"You can see it all the way down the hallway, so it's a center visual," Hoppe said.

Progress on the Caring Tree, along with other Wegscheid's other projects, can be viewed at www.facebook/com/artbybrad.