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Murals Add Artistic Touch to Roof of UCHealth’s Longs Peak Hospital

January 29, 2019

A hospital might not be the first place that comes to mind when upbeat public art is brought up, but UCHealth’s Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont is changing that. The facility has a new mural on its rooftop air handlers featuring a sunny depiction of winding streams crisscrossing a colorful take on the Rocky Mountains.

Ashley Kasprzak, development officer of the Longs Peak Hospital Foundation, said that although the mural has an organic feel, the design is completely digital. Kasprzak said DuraPlaq, the Longmont-based company that donated the labor and materials for the mural, printed it onto several metal panels before installing them on the air conditioning ducts that line the hospital’s roof.

“With product offerings that span glass, wood, acrylic, metal, stone and ceramic substrates,” DuraPlaq assists artisans “with their unique printing and fabrication challenges,” the company’s website states.

Andrew Deschennes, a manager at DuraPlaq, in a news release said, “We hope (the mural) will provide a sense of comfort and tranquility to all who see it.”

Kasprzak valued the entire project at $41,000. Of that, she attributed $21,000 to DuraPlaq’s contributions and the other $20,000 to private donors. In particular, she noted that Dan Robinson, the Longs Peak Hospital Foundation’s CEO, and his wife, Kim, provided money for the piece.

“Through this project, our donors have been able to improve the patient experience,” Kapzrak said in the news release. “Artwork can bring joy, and joy can bring healing.”

DuraPlaq designed the artwork and used its large format UV flatbed printer to print on 55 4-by-8-foot panels, according to Deschennes. The “panels are an aluminum composite material that provide a matte aesthetic to reduce glare,” he stated.

DuraPlaq’s founder, Tim Emerson, began his career as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, Kapzrak said, and took a personal interest in the mural. He is directly responsible for the design and functionality of the project, she said.

The piece is “visible from the north-facing patient rooms,” the news release states, and according to Kapzrak, can be seen from 37 of the facility’s 51 private rooms.

She said the project’s overarching goal was to “extend creativity and color to the roof.”

Design work on the piece began in January 2018, but Kapzrak said it wasn’t finished until about six weeks ago. Longs Peak initially came upon DuraPlaq when the hospital was having signs made to honor some of its donors, according to Kapzrak.