Westminster, Colo. – December 7, 2015 – Approximately 300 employees of the St. Anthony North Health Campus will celebrate the unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue of Saint Anthony this Friday, December 11. Designed and sculpted by national award-winning artist Mardie Rees, the statue was created using the “lost-wax” technique which dates back more than 5,000 years.
Saint Anthony is traditionally portrayed in paintings and sculpture as holding the baby Jesus. Rees brought a new interpretation to this tradition by representing Jesus not as an infant but as a toddler, who is holding hands and taking steps in front of the Saint. Jesus as a child leading the patron saint of healing will greet everyone who enters the campus doors, which opened in March 2015.
In building the statue, Rees employed old-world techniques, using live models and hand-made wooden tools to shape the statue in clay. A live model representing Saint Anthony posed for more than 40 hours. A toddler, with the help of his mother and another friend, represented the Christ child.
Rees cast the piece in bronze using the time-honored lost-wax technique – where molten metal is poured into a ceramic shell that once was occupied by wax. The statue was cast locally at Art Castings of Colorado in Loveland. The 450-pound, 81-inch high statue will rest on a granite base that weighs 3,850 pounds.
The project took Rees about two years to complete and she’s excited to share it with the hospitals patients, visitors and staff members.
“Part of my inspiration came from when my son was a toddler,” said Rees. “It’s such a special time when they are almost ready to walk, but still need that guiding hand for balance. By putting the Christ child on the ground, it makes the statue more interactive and we are able to experience a walk of faith with Saint Anthony’s guiding hand.”
“Saint Anthony is the patron Saint of healing,” said Sister Pat Hayden, vice president of mission integration at St. Anthony North Health Campus. “Not only is he the namesake for our health campus, but he epitomizes our mission of health and healing.”
The statue rests naturally in the lobby atrium, which has the look and feel of a Colorado resort, with natural stone, woods, floor-to-ceiling windows and 25-foot birch groves designed to support a soothing, healing environment. It was funded through donations made to the Saint Anthony Health Foundation.
Employees will gather in the lobby atrium with Mardie Rees for the statue celebration on Friday, December 11 at 10 am. St. Anthony North Health Campus is located at 144th Avenue and integrates inpatient and outpatient care into the same building - the first campus within the Centura Health system to do that.
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About St. Anthony North Health Campus
The new St. Anthony North Health Campus, which opened on March 3, 2015 provides primary and specialty care, wellness management, a Birthing Center, diagnostics, surgery and 92 inpatient rooms to serve the growing north-metro communities. Continuing a 44-year tradition of serving the north-metro Denver, St. Anthony North Health Campus is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and is part of Centura Health, the region’s leading hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year.