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New artwork at St. Luke's Boise designed to help young patients forget they're at a hospital

The hospital partnered with design studio Trademark and Boise contractors to create a comfortable environment at the Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion.

BOISE, Idaho — Sculptures of a bear, fox, and elk went up outside of St. Luke's in Boise over the weekend.

The idea is to make the hospital more inviting for kids.

"We think it really signals to the children that this is for them - we want then to be able to look forward to coming to the doctor," St. Luke's spokesperson Anita Kissée said.

Boise-based design studio Trademark worked on the project, and according to co-owner and art director John Yarnell, the sculptures at the Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion were designed to appeal to kids - small children as well as teenagers.

"It's meant to get their mind out of the moment and just let them concentrate on something positive," Yarnell said.

Credit: Chase Biefeldt/KTVB
A sculpture of a fox sits in front of St. Luke's Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion. The art was designed to help kids feel more comfortable at the hospital.

Given the building's importance, St. Luke's wanted to thank the organization that helped build the Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion.

"The Idaho Elk's Association gave a generous donation to make this building happen," Kissée said. "They gave $5 million, and we wanted to say thank you to them by putting up this gorgeous [elk sculpture] in their honor."

Credit: Chase Biefeldt/KTVB
A sculpture of an elk sits in front of St. Luke's Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion. The art was designed to help kids feel more comfortable at the hospital.

While the outside looks inviting, St. Luke's also has big plans for inside the building.

"For the interior we're doing a lot on evidence-based design in healthcare that shows that your surroundings can have an impact on your healing," Kissée said. "We have calming lights, we have a floor in the neuro clinic where there aren't any lights or sounds - it's all built around what's best for the kids."

Credit: Chase Biefeldt/KTVB
A painting of a bear next to an elevator in St. Luke's Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion in Boise.

The project is only halfway done in its current state, but will be ready for public viewing on August 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"I can't tell you how proud of the people I work with and to see it all come together," Yarnell said.

The Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion will open to patients on September 3.

Credit: Chase Biefeldt/KTVB
A sculpture of a bear sits atop St. Luke's Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion. The art was designed to help kids feel more comfortable at the hospital.