The messages of the three angels in Revelations 14: 6-12 are important to the Seventh-day Adventist Church – and now a depiction of the angels graces a massive piece of slate next to the emergency room entrance at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley.
Hospital President David Butler explained the significance of a small crowd gathered for the unveiling of the sculpture on Friday morning, March 18.
“This is carved in stone and this will be here forever,” Butler said of the sculpture. “We hope this gives you hope, that this gives you an idea of what we represent here at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley – that it’s not just about your physical and mental health, it’s also about your spiritual well-being. And we want the very best outcomes for folks who come here. ”
The hospital building is owned by Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District but operated by Adventist Health under a long-term contract. Since opening in November 2018, artwork has been installed throughout the hospital, much of it created by local artists.
A fourth angel – referenced by Butler during his comments – was created by Dwight Dreyer and installed inside the hospital, near the entrance, in December 2019.
Dreyer and other members of the hospital’s Art of Healing Committee were among those present for the unveiling.
“This was a long journey for us because the project was initially brought up by David Eastman, who was here to open the hospital,” Dreyer said. “And our team just kept our eyes on the ball. This (project) was always something we wanted to see happen. ”
Butler credited Christina Scrivner, former director of philanthropy at the hospital, for introducing him to Jun Kim, the sculptor who created the “Three Angels” work and for “coaxing me along” to move the project forward.
Another member of the Art of Healing Committee, Donald Towns, developed the rendering of the angels that guided Kim in his work with the slate.
The large piece of stone was acquired from a quarry near Fresno, Dreyer said, adding that it is very difficult to find such a large slab of slate in the US
Edward Martin, the hospital’s administrative director of operations, shared an inspirational quote before making presentations to Kim, Dreyer, Towns and Scrivner.
“At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source,” he said. “When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.
“So, we’d like to thank all of our artists who have really contributed to the hospital,” Martin continued. “As you walk through our hallways and take a look at our facility, you can see art all over the place. You all have been involved in the art of healing when it comes to our patients. And this (the new sculpture) is just another example of a piece that will heal. As every patient walks through these doors, they will be impacted. ”
Scrivner, who left the philanthropy position at the hospital last year, downplayed her involvement in the project.
“(This is) way more credit than I deserve,” she said. “I have been so blessed to be able to journey between the generosity and the inspiration of our community. And the courage of our caregivers – this project really represents that.
“I see so many of these beautiful staff’s faces, and this is so much about honoring you,” she continued, adding that “there are angels in our community… angels in our caregivers that are showing up every single day and not only providing clinical excellence but are praying with our patients and are looking into the faces of their families and giving them hope. ”
Towns also shared his thoughts about participating in the project, and the role of art.
He said he hopes the latest sculpture and other art at the hospital will help those who visit the hospital.
“Hopefully it will move people from a state of trauma to a state of tranquility,” he said. “And art has the power to do that.”
Tony Andrews, Adventist Health’s director of spiritual care, expanded on the importance of the three angels to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“The three angels’ message is a message to the world, to the world that is suffering, that has no hope… that your redemption is near, restoration is near,” he said. “So, it’s a wonderful love message to the world. And we are living in a world, as we know, of chaos and war, of injustice and oppression. And so, this is a strong message to the world that ‘I am coming again, and don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith.’ “
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: [email protected]