A policy change by Fraser Health has meant around 25 paintings that once adorned Delta Hospital have been removed.
“We would handle the paintings and they would be hung and removed if they were sold or changed them up, and unfortunately, the wall had become quite unsightly,” said Kitti Sawicki, a Delta Hospital volunteer, explaining the motivation for the policy change.
Before, the hospital and the South Delta Artists Guild had a loose agreement where 85 per cent of proceeds from paintings sold went back to the artist.
Under the new policy, not only must all proceeds go to the hospital foundation – but the artwork must be reviewed and approved by a committee. In response, the Artists Guild removed their paintings last week.
It’s a change that saddens Sandra Taylor, one of the artists who had contributed in the past.
“There’s a sense of disappointment,” she says. “We were doing it for so long, we thought the paintings helped make the patients happy.”
Fraser Health defended the change in policy, saying they were working with artists to ensure some of the painting would return.
And Annette Garm, the Delta Hospital Site Director, is hopeful that a happy ending can still be found.
“We never communicated any directive from Fraser health to remove the art, because we value the art and we value the community,” she says.
“There was a misunderstanding.”