Clever collages cover the walls of the lobby of the Margaret W. Niedland Breast Center in Jupiter. Photographs depicting island scenes decorate one of the hallways.
Stunning compositions of Antelope Canyon in Arizona line an upstairs corridor overlooking the foyer, where a 5-by-6-foot portrait of the building’s namesake hangs.
The abundance of art aims to soothe the souls of patients preparing for biopsies, MRIs and PET scans. The Jupiter Medical Center facility, which opened last year, specializes in diagnostic technology for breast health and early detection that can help save lives.
In a bathroom, a picture of a surfboard bearing a cartoonish frog might make someone smile. In a dressing room, a piece of pop art emblazoned with a cheeky comment might evoke a laugh-out-loud moment. In a waiting area, framed shots of wildlife from around the world might serve as a pleasant distraction to an unpleasant circumstance.
“I have more conversations with patients coming in and out of this door about this photo,” Cathy Marinak, a nurse practitioner in the center’s Cancer Genetics & High Risk Program department, says while pointing to Aaron Wells’ Dog’s Beach, which shows a pair of Labrador retrievers in a sandy cove. “They always start talking about their dogs, and then I start talking about my dogs…”
Kari Tanto, a mammography technologist in the center’s diagnostic imaging department, says a mixed-media painting opposite the tomosynthesis machine, used for 3D mammography, is a favorite. Titled I Will Survive, it portrays a heavily made-up blonde wearing a gold crown bearing the iconic three-word title of a disco classic. “Patients take pictures of it with their cell phones all the time,” Tanto says of Keithley Pierce’s colorful creation.
“I thought that when women walk into the mammography room, it would be great to have a giggle,” says Suzanne Niedland, daughter of the late Margaret Niedland and benefactor of the capital campaign to construct the center.
In addition to the art, Niedland incorporated an array of aesthetics into the design of the 26,000-square-foot building, including elements of feng shui, a meditation garden and mood lighting – all in memory of her mother, who died in 2011 at age 76 after battling stage-four breast cancer.
“My mother loved learning about feng shui and took classes to study it,” Niedland says. “She believed that how a space feels affects how people respond consciously and unconsciously.”
Niedland also planted an olive tree her mother had grown at home in the healing garden. A fountain with pink lights that she’s sure would have put a big smile on her mother’s face anchors a large lake.
Enhancements to the MRI room – which has been transformed into the Caring Suite – enables patients to customize lighting, select music and choose visual projections to watch on the ceiling during the procedure.
“When my mom was receiving treatment, she would always say, ‘Why does it have to be so cold, so clinical?’” Niedland recalls. “I wanted the Margaret W. Niedland Breast Center to be designed from the ground up with my mother’s tastes… not just have her name on the building.”
The center is one of the few medical complexes in South Florida to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.
“It’s beautiful here,” says Kristina Gostic, director of the center’s imaging services department.
Nichole Hickey, manager of artist services for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, assisted in curating the 150-plus framed works, most of which are photographs, reflecting Margaret Niedland’s love of the medium. “It’s a great collection,” she says. “Art always provides ambience to any atmosphere, if chosen correctly.”
Several local artists are represented in the center’s collection. Among them is Melinda Moore, who captures birds with a Canon 60D digital camera. The Palm Beach Gardens resident donated 11 images that grace the center’s consulting rooms. “To me, it was a huge honor,” she says. “The environment is very beautiful. It’s like an art gallery that the patients can walk around in.”