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How We’re Showcasing The Work Of Local Photographers At Our Bangor Center

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Local Infusion recently opened a new infusion center in Bangor, Maine. True to our mission of supporting local communities, Heather Turner, RN, took it upon herself to curate a gallery wall of photographs showcasing the nearby counties and regions of Maine. 

Below, Heather explains how this installation came to life, how she sourced the original photographs from local artists, and why she’s so passionate about the project as both a born and bred Mainer, and a nurse. 

How did the idea to showcase local photography at the Bangor center come to life? 

I cannot take full credit for this! When I got the job, my husband and I were talking about how it’s called “Local Infusion,” and I expressed that I would like to do something to tie in the local area. Then he said…well, what about photography of Maine? From there, I started thinking about how we have several rooms at the center. Originally, I thought we could name each infusion bay by one of the counties. But then when I saw the physical space, I realized that the display should really be in the center and not in the individual rooms. This way, everyone coming in could see their county represented. 

How did you source the photographs? 

I have a few friends who are photographers, one of whom does a lot of nature work down east in Washington County. From there, I just posted on Facebook and had people submit photos to me. And on the Facebook post, people would start tagging different photographers, so it grew from there. We paid for the rights to the photos and I ordered them so they’d all be the same size. 

Photography will be up indefinitely — I think it’s a really great way to have autonomy and create uniqueness out of the clinic. But I will probably try to swap out the display seasonally to support different artists over the course of the year. 

The artists and locations featured in this first installation are:

  • Zach Caron Pine Tree Eagle Photography | Waldo County,  Belfast
  • Matt Watkins Photography | Hancock County, Sand Beach in Bar Harbor
  • Christopher A Mills Photography | Aroostook County, Potato Blossom fields
  • Don Dunbar Photography | Penobscot County,  Stockton Springs
  • Don Dunbar Photography | Washington County, Eastport
  • Don Dunbar Photography | Piscataquis County, Mt. Katahdin

As a born and bred Mainer, tell me more about why it feels so important for you to support the local community in this way. 

I’m very passionate about Maine — I was raised in a small community and have lived here my whole life. And what I’ve found is that no matter how difficult things get economically, residents of small communities rise to the occasion above and beyond to support each other. There’s a joke that everyone in Maine is related, which of course isn’t true but it sometimes feels like that. Everyone has the same passion about their communities. 

Local Infusion has several locations, but when it came into this area, I wanted it to feel local. It’s not like we came in and pretended to be local — we really are. Our goal with this small clinic is to give back to the community, not just to have a transactional relationship with patients. We have plans to support the community through drives and angel tree Christmas programs. Showcasing local photographers was a great way to start. 

At Local Infusion, we focus on creating calming, stress-free environments for patients to receive care. But it’s not purely aesthetic. There are clinical benefits to it as well. Tell me more about how artwork can contribute to this? 

I notice a big difference in clinical outcomes with a calming, stress-free environment. To give you an example..I had a patient come in with high anxiety because he had three previous anaphylactic reactions to treatments. I spoke to him for a few minutes and thought to myself…we don’t have to rush into this. We have time. I let him play relaxing music, sit back in the chair, dim the lights, and essentially meditate for about 20 minutes. When I came back to him, his blood pressure was down and he was ready to go with treatment. He was in a much better space mentally and emotionally. 

There’s a time and a place for emergency hospital care, but this type of outpatient setting should be low anxiety, because it’s so beneficial…more than patients even let themselves realize. I’m hoping that the beautiful, calming artwork will be a part of the environment we’re trying to create so patients can leave with a sense of calm that they may not have had coming in. 

READ MORE: Why We Care About Interior Design At Local Infusion

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