Anne Froning Wike: ...ever growing into the light

Published On 07/11/2011

Location: Physicians' Dining
Underwriting Cost: $15,000

Memphis artist Anne Froning Wike wanted to bring elements of the outdoors to Le Bonheur physicians. Her artwork, called “…ever growing into the light,” hangs in the Physician Dining Room in the new hospital.

“There are no windows in the Physician Dining Room, so I wanted to bring the outdoors inside and create something soothing for the doctors,” Froning Wike said.

WikeThe 20-foot long piece is made of clay and glazed in earth, green, and bright flower tones. Staying true to the Memphis landscape, it resembles a hybrid of a winding river and a blossoming tree branch.

“I used muddy tones to make it look as though it was pulled from the river,” said Froning Wike. “At the end are a large, bright blossom and a stray vine that continues to reach upward symbolizing growth toward the light.”

A teaching artist for almost 25 years, Froning Wike incorporated the work of 12 students at the Madonna Learning Center. She took the group of children with special needs to the Memphis Botanic Gardens, where they wandered around the grounds picking up objects from nature. They then used rolling pins to make impressions in the clay with the objects. Froning Wike incorporated the children’s clay impressions into her design.

“The kids loved the idea that they were making something for Le Bonheur,” said Froning Wike. “Many of those kids have been treated at Le Bonheur.”

Froning Wike is a registered landscape architect and has a true love for nature. “Nature is the most healing thing,” she says. Froning Wike has an experienced background in park and residential design but has turned her focus to the visual arts.

“…ever growing into the light” is her first major public installation.


If you would like to inquire about underwriting this or any of the other pieces in the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Art Collection, please call the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Foundation at 901-287-6308.