Robert Tharsing’s Room With A View

Robert Tharsing’s “Room With A View” Exhibit. Author’s collection.

Circumstances caused me to enjoy several trips down the long corridors of the Chandler Medical Center. Enjoy? Well, if life gives you lemons then it is best to make lemonade.

In designing the new hospital, great steps have been taken to make it a beautiful place. During the week, musicians perform in the library. And art is everywhere.

Painting of the Old Courthouse by Robert Tharsing
Ann Tower Gallery.

Along one hallway that connects the new hospital to the traditionally-institutional old hospital is a display of art by UK art professor Robert Tharsing.

Tharsing’s “Room With A View” stems from the artist’s time living in a flat above Cheapside Bar & Grille during the 1990s. At the time, Tharsing also maintained a studio near High and Rose Streets.

In moments of thought, the artist would stare out his windows.

And his paintbrush followed his eyes to create scenes of downtown Lexington that transcend time.

“The paintings in this exhibition literally and elegantly depict one artist’s brief view of a small corner of the Earth in all its beautiful banality” reads the card describing the display.

The noble old courthouse stands proudly in the heart of downtown with the autumnal leaves of Cheapside Park beginning to change colors. Other paintings depict snowy streets capes.

Interestingly, the last time I took the opportunity to appreciate the hospital’s rotating art collection the same space featured on display a collection of Robert Tharsing’s daughter, Lina Tharsing, “Making a New Forest.”

Painting of an Interview of Gatewood Galbraith.
Ann Tower Gallery.

One of my favorites in the 14-piece exhibit is that of a tv reporter interviewing Gatewood Galbraith at the corner of Cheapside and Short Streets. The attorney and perennial political candidate was as much a fixture of downtown as anything until he passed away in 2012.

In my email signature, I have a quote from Gatewood that speaks to the purpose of art in healthcare. “Make a resolution to lift someone’s spirit each day and follow through with it.” That was Gatewood’s mission and a few minutes with Tharsing’s simple collection is sufficient to raise one’s own spirits.

Postcards of the collection can be purchased online from Institute 193 or in person at Ann Tower Gallery or the Morris Book Shop.