Cynthia Taylor watched construction of the new Highland Hospital in Kanawha City with great interest when she made trips back to her hometown to visit family.
She grew up just blocks from the original hospital and noticed how modern the new building was going to be.
"I kept saying, 'I'm going to do the art at the new Highland Hospital.' I kept saying it and saying it," said Taylor, 51, a graduate of Charleston Catholic High School.
Taylor, now a North Carolina interior designer, believed she could contribute her talents to the new building. One of her specialties is selecting artwork for spaces, and she has been involved in several large projects in North Carolina, including the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C., and Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C.
She started making calls to Highland officials to offer her services, and a short time later she was making visual plans for the hospital.
Right away, she faced some challenges, the first being selecting art for a facility that treats children, teens and adults suffering from mental ailments, drug and alcohol abuse and mental and physical abuse.
The artwork would need to be soothing and uplifting, with images that were inspirational but not upsetting.
"The one thing we try to stay away from is the color red," she said. "It's stimulative."
The next challenge was money.
"It was a very tight budget, but we made it work," Taylor said. "Smaller jobs are just as important as the bigger jobs."
In fact, she welcomed the challenge of combing through her library of images and sources to find ways to provide the best visual punch without spending a fortune, including graphic prints, poster images and photo reproductions.