A Blank Canvas

By Elizabeth Walker | October 1 2019

The newly-renovated workspace at NCRC afforded the opportunity for the department to purchase original artwork, supporting local artists. Working with Joy Naylor and Diane Bennett of Ann Arbor-based Distinct Design and U-M Interior Designer, Kate Stahl, an artwork committee chose pieces inspired by nature to complement the complex’s park-like setting.

Committee Members


Christine Baker

Kristina Martin

Christine Rigney

Kate Stahl

Elizabeth Walker

The artists include: Francesc Burgos, Lynda Cole, Carlye Crisler, Connie Cronenwett, Kim Ensch, Karen Ehart, Helen Gotlib, Janet Kelman, Jennifer Martin, Susan Morosky, Eric Nye, Middy Potter, Elizabeth Schwartz, Jill Stefani Wagner, and Karin Wagner-Coron.

Among the artists are Art Prize winners, including Lynda Cole, whose work in oil pigment stick, cold wax, and encaustic are featured outside the chair’s office and the Division of Quality and Health Improvement. Cole, along with several other of our featured artists, is a co-owner of the WSG Gallery on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Artist, Connie Cronenwett says that she feels most like herself while she is painting and that the process gives her the opportunity to really observe. “It’s like you lose a certain part of your ego that just takes a walk and you’re so engaged with that process and it’s very challenging and it’s freeing at the same time.”

Artwork on display serves as a daily inspiration for all those who work in its midst and has inspired at least one NCRC tenant to become an artist himself, as Duane Newton has taken up watercolor lessons.

Jill Stefani Wagner uses her work as a way to document her community. ” I like to capture what life is like now. Not idealized. I always put the telephone poles and everything in because I want it to be a record,” she says. She adds that the support she has had from hospitals purchasing her art has been much appreciated and it’s a way of keeping art alive, especially after the residential market basically disappeared back in 2008. Most of the artists featured in the new space are from Ann Arbor and all are from the Midwest.

WSG Gallery | 306 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | Webpage