Many years ago, when I was a much younger person, I was taught that good health meant not only the lack of disease but was indeed a combination of emotional, physical and social well being. Keeping these words in mind I realize that here on the Mayo Campus not only is there a trained staff prepared to meet the various medical needs of the patient, but there is also something else, something deeper and perhaps indefinable that plays into those other parts of good health. I am referring to the art and music at Mayo.
As a Mayo staff member I am still amazed by the very accessible art and music available to me as I walk not only through the skyway and subway of the Mayo campus but outside, on the side walk as well. I see paintings, sketches, textiles hanging from walls, sculptures both inside and out, glass that is blown, shaped, sandblasted. There are pieces displayed that were created as art and others that though once useful objects or tools, have now evolved into art. The Plummer building itself could be defined as “building art” if such a term exists. And housed in this magnificent building is the weighty carillon from which music is sent cascading from the sky. Music also rises from the subway where you find grand pianos in various locations serenely waiting for those brave souls who wish to tickle the ivory. Couples, children, groups, trained and untrained alike have seated themselves on the bench to play for the passing audience.
There are many words that could be used to describe the art and music at Mayo. And yet, there are those moments when you hear Beethoven played in the Gonda atrium by what looks to be an eight year old; or you stop and actually “see” a painting that you have passed many times before and you realize then, that sometimes words do not do justice.
This article was submitted by Erin O'Neill, a library associate at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.