Location: Beaumont Hospital – Dearborn Michigan
Size: Butterfly screens – 80 feet wide, 9 feet tall Butterfly Spire – 14 feet tall by 5 feet wide
Materials: Stainless Steel and Acrylic
Between the busy halls of Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn sits a tranquil garden filled with butterfly sculptures, serving as a quiet place for families and staff to enjoy, reflect and relax.
This art installation has been driven by Dr. Donald Conn, Diagnostic Radiologist at Beaumont, Dearborn, who began planning the garden in honor of his late wife, Dr. Sheryl Conn, a Family Medicine physician who passed away from cancer in 2020. It is Dr. Conn’s intention that this garden serve not as a memorial but instead as an inspiration.
After researching sculpture artists throughout the country to design and build the installation, Dr. Conn selected Matthew Placzek, a monumental sculptor based in Omaha, Nebraska. Known for incredible works of art at hospitals, zoos and other large gathering spaces, Matthew was asked to use his artistic vision to create this inspirational design.
The garden was conceived in two parts. One section is a view-only courtyard along the main hallway of glass windows and is viewed by everyone walking in the hospital. Upon completion, the second section will have a large sculpture with benches and surrounding landscaping. Both areas are tied together with a beautiful abstract sculpture centered around butterflies. Although the butterfly sculptures are in place, construction is ongoing.
Having grown up locally in Allen Park, Dr. Conn says Beaumont, Dearborn has been the go-to hospital for his family for decades. Both Dr. Conns completed their residencies at the hospital and both of their two children were born there as well. In planning the garden, he wanted to give back to the hospital he feels has given his family so much.
Butterflies are a symbol of hope, something we have all been looking for over the last two years. It is his wish that patients and staff will be able to take a “happy journey” while walking through the halls and have a place of respite when they need it.
The garden can be found along the main hallway at Beaumont, Dearborn. Construction is estimated to be complete in the spring.