The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

April 29, 2014

Artist gives presentation on Geisinger's "Tree of Hope"

— DANVILLE – A Troy artist led a discussion on her “Tree of Hope” painting at Geisinger Medical Center’s House of Care on Monday morning.

Artist Connie Sickler painted the picture in 2012. The image depicts a white oak located in Sylvania.

Sickler was shown the tree by her husband, Greg. “As soon as I saw it, I thought this is the tree,” she said to the small crowd who had gathered at the House of Care to hear her speak.

The painting was inspired by seasonal rebirth of trees and plants during the spring, and how it represents hope to generation after generation, Sickler said.

The “Tree of Hope” image, a print of Sickler’s original, was donated to Geisinger’s House of Care by anonymous friends of the House of Care, according to manager Michelle Smith.

The painting hangs in the house’s healing therapy room, which is used for therapies including art and massage.

House of Care intern Jolene Fisher, a Penn State senior, helped set up the therapy room and originally contacted Sickler.

The painting took Sickler about 450 hours from March 2012 to September 2012 to finish.

She is already working on a follow-up painting, the “Tree of Life,” this year. That tree is based on another white oak located along Route 13, going into Ithaca, New York.

 “I’m just so pleased they would have it here,” Sickler said of the “Tree of Hope’s” placement in the House of Care. She hopes that it will raise a lot of spirits over the years.

“I think its perfect symbolically for the House of Care,” Smith added. As many of the House of Care’s guests are adult cancer patients, some of whom are facing terminal diagnosis, the painting serves as “a reminder to look for the positive and signs of life,” she said.


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