Integrity on its Head


As you walk into the new Della Cava Medical Pavilion of Boulder Community Hospital your attention is immediately taken up by a large, magnificent backlit image of some grasses.

The image commands the whole lobby and it’s one of mine. However you probably won’t find the image on my web page unless you know what to look for.

The image is cropped to a square from the rectangular image I sent them and the tones are considerably warmer.

I came to the Della Cava Pavilion the day before the opening so I could photograph the installation. It was the first I saw of the installed photograph. Initially I was upset. I wasn’t informed about the cropping or the change in color balance.

I’m open to suggestions and I’m much more aware of color balance now than when I produced the image, so I went home and compared the installation photo with the original. I opened up a color balance layer on the original and added yellow till the photograph matched the installed one.

I didn’t like the look of the modified image at all and decided not to keep the changes. However the 8×8 foot backlit image installed in the lobby looks magnificent.

I thought about complaining to the consultant who sold them the image, but I know that she had nothing to do with it. It was probably the architectural firm that made the cropping decision to fit the image into the wall panel. The color change could be from them too or just the color of the backlighting.

At some point I just gave up and posted the photo on my Facebook page.

At the opening the next day I decided not to say anything to the consultant except to thank her and agree that the image looked fabulous.

Have I sold out? It doesn’t feel that way to me. If I do this again, I’ll make sure to request that I’m consulted before something like this happens, but when anyone buys a piece of art, it’s their’s to do what they want with it.

The building houses a new psychiatric facility. My work was chosen for its calming effect on visitors and patients. If my image contributes to their well being who am I to argue?

~ by danbaumbach on April 3, 2019.

4 Responses to “Integrity on its Head”

  1. I can understand cropping to fit a space without letting someone know, but changing the colors is definitely in the “should have” territory. However, I have learned that the selection of a photograph is often more to do with the surrounding environment, colors, and theme than perhaps the aesthetic and artistic choices that go into the creation of the photograph.

    Bright, warm colors are most definitely preferred in healthcare settings, especially for mental health areas. The setting overruled and gave freedom to some necessary liberties, which I can understand.

  2. Looks beautiful Dan. Personally I would just let it go. You sold the image, kudos. What they choose to do with it after is their decision. I think artists are too close to their own work to be objective.

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