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City and Hospital Celebrate New Public Art

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On August 14, representatives from Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the City of Burlingame will attend a celebration in honor of the new installation Ode to Joy, a series of eight sculptures by acclaimed artist Douwe Blumberg.

The Kentucky-based artist responded to Mills-Peninsula’s national call for design submissions for a public work of art to adorn the grounds of the new medical center, which opened in May 2011. Blumberg’s design depicting birds taking flight was chosen by a selection committee, hospital employees and members of the community. Blumberg installed his sculptures of cast aluminum birds at Mills-Peninsula this spring. With more than 200 completed commissions, Blumberg has created artwork for Ground Zero in New York City, the Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial and the royal residence in Dubai.

“We thank the artist for this beautiful vision, the city for their partnership in the project, and the people of Burlingame, who helped select this artwork that now serves as an inspiring welcome to the city and a healing respite for visitors to our medical center,” said Bob Merwin, CEO of Mills-Peninsula.

Burlingame Mayor Ann Keighran said the artwork creates an elegant gateway to the city. “Ode to Joy is a perfect piece for the serene atmosphere surrounding the hospital and for the entry to Burlingame,” she said.

The city included a requirement for public art as part of the land development entitlements given to Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. Burlingame’s Vice Mayor Michael Brownrigg served on the city’s planning commission of the medical center. “We are pleased that the hospital was willing to do this for the people of Burlingame,” he said. “It is a small symbol of being part of the community.”

The ceremony for Ode to Joy will be held August 14 at 10 a.m. at the corner of El Camino Real and Trousdale Drive in Burlingame.