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McLean Tunnels Will Soon Become an Art Gallery

August 26, 2016 Print

The McLean Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) recently asked the McLean community for help in enhancing the look and feel of the hospital’s tunnel system. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Sixty-four artists, including current and former patients, family members, community friends, and staff, submitted more than 100 pieces of art—representing the themes of hope, recovery, and resilience—to be considered as part of a permanent exhibit in high-traffic areas of the tunnels.

Admissions Building
Most of McLean's historic Belmont campus is connect via underground tunnels

Thirty-two of those submissions, chosen by a committee of PFAC members and staff, will soon adorn the walls of the underground hallways. The art, along with the artists, will be formally honored during a celebration on October 17.

Although the tunnel system offers protection from the elements, patients and family members have expressed concern about the drab feeling that the tunnels currently project. PFAC hopes that the art will add some warmth and meaning to the many trips between buildings that patients, families, and staff take beneath the McLean campus.

Attendees of the fall celebration will have the opportunity to take guided tours of all the exhibit locations and listen to classical music in Pierce Hall, courtesy of the Me2/Orchestra, the “world’s only classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them.” Visit their website to learn more about the orchestra’s mission and hear of a sampling of their performances.

Soon, McLean services located aboveground also will be able to benefit from the project. PFAC is planning to create an online portfolio of all the artwork submitted, including beautiful pieces that weren’t selected for underground display. This collection will include photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, and woodcut prints.