Dawn Hamm: Exchange of Energy

Published On 07/11/2011

Location: 2nd Floor Waiting
Underwriting Cost: $30,000

To many, harsh materials like aluminum and steel might seem unlikely for the fabrication of clouds. But cast your eyes upward in the main lobby of the new Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and that’s just what you will see – a mobile of clouds, hand-shaped out of wiry, mesh-like metal.Clouds

And it works. The piece, called “Exchange of Energy,” by Dawn Hamm seems to float under the sky blue ceiling. The “Le Bonheur Blue” paint color was mixed specially for the hospital by Sherwin Williams.

Memphian Hamm was originally contacted by Le Bonheur to paint clouds on the domed ceiling of the new hospital’s main lobby. However, when Hamm toured the space, she came up with a new idea.

“I wanted to do something completely different,” said Hamm. “Something three dimensional.”

Hamm drew inspiration for the piece from the simplistic and innocent nature of children. The metallic material, Hamm says, was chosen for its reflection of this idea and for its transparent, delicate quality. Collaborating with friend and wood craftsman, Richard Wood, the pair was able to make the metal clouds delicately balance from the ceiling.

Sculpture and three dimensional art are fairly recent ventures for Hamm. Much of Hamm’s previous experience is in faux painting and residential interiors. Previously, she owned her own commercial faux painting business, Dawn Hamm Studios. A project for the University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute – a whimsical, 3D solar system -- ignited her interest in sculpting.

A breast cancer survivor, Hamm knows the healing power of art firsthand. She hopes that the mobile, like other artwork in the new Le Bonheur, will help heal and soothe patients and their families.


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.