Honor Award

“Via Dolorosa”
Chapel, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
St. Louis, Missouri

William Frank
St. Louis, Missouri

SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital requested a series of prints with imagery that expressed their mission “to reveal the healing presence of God.” “Via Dolorosa,” meaning “sorrowful way” or “way of suffering,” refers to the path that Jesus walked to his crucifixion. The narrative told though art uses color transitions from red to violet. All 14 prints combine a scene of Christ with an image from Saint Louis University and SSM archives. These include diagnostic medical images such as x-rays, current research images made with electron microscopy, and blueprints for the original hospital. There’s a person and a history in each image—a child who falls from a tricycle, a man shot in the spine, a woman losing vision to macular degeneration. In this way, the local community and its afflictions become the landscape in which Christ’s suffering and sacrifice unfold.

Jury Comments
The images created for this chapel are incredibly poignant visages that draw upon the Stations of the Cross using background images such as x-rays, blueprints, and other diagnostic visualization tools. The work ties the suffering of local people to the great sacrifice of Christ, suggesting his presence in each one of us.