Diana Suttenfield’s showing is set for next week at Hospice Waverly Court offices
SHEPHERDSTOWN – When Diana Suttenfield first learned about Hospice of the Panhandle’s new inpatient facility two years ago, she wondered about how she could give back to the agency that was so important to her in the care of her mother and stepfather at the end of their lives. Then, in 2011, the Rev. GT Schramm, Hospice’s board chair and Suttenfield’s pastor, talked to her about creating art for the new 14-bed unit.
Suttenfield, a well-known artist from Shepherdstown, said there was no way to repay Hospice for the care she and her loved ones received, but thought she “might like to do something” that would show her level of appreciation. Her mother, Elise Hastry, died under hospice care in 2009 and her stepfather, Thomas Hastry, died in 2010.
“At first, I thought Rev. Schramm said there were four rooms; I thought I could do that fairly easily. Then, I found out there were 14,” she said. “That was a little overwhelming, but it all came together.”
Suttenfield ended up creating 14 pieces, all oils and acrylics, for the individual patient rooms, and then also added another 12 for hallways and reception areas. All of them are West Virginia landscapes, inspired by the places she’s visited throughout the region and earlier pieces she had created. Additionally, one of her dear artist friends who passed away under Hospice care in the past year gave her his art supplies – another way that brought the project full circle.
“This is such a phenomenal act of generosity on Diana’s part,” Schramm said. “They are breathtaking pieces, and we are so grateful that our patients and families will be able to enjoy their beauty.”
She calls the months after her parents passed away a bleak time for her – she was working to settle their estates, as well as dealing with the issue of her galleries closing. Working nearly nonstop on the 26 pieces over the past year and a half have helped “give me something back” Suttenfield said.
Monday through Jan. 8, Suttenfield’s works will be on display at Hospice of the Panhandle’s current offices at 122 Waverly Court. Each day, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., those interested can stop by the multipurpose room to get a glimpse of the artwork. On Tuesday, a reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.
“I have a nice studio in Shepherdstown, but I thought the public might want to see the pieces (in the context of Hospice) and how they related to each other,” she said. “There has been a lot of interest in this series of paintings, and the three-day exhibit will offer the public an opportunity to see them before they are delivered to the soon-to-be operating facility.”
For more information, contact Maria Lorensen at 304-267-1870, ext. 205, or firstname.lastname@example.org