Tilda Shalof in front of mural
Nurse Tilda Shalof stands beside a mural she and artist Vanessa Herman created from more than 10,000 pieces of plastic used in patient care during her years as a critical care nurse at Toronto General Hospital. The mural was donated to TGH, and hangs in the ground-level hallway leading to MaRS. (Photo: UHN)

More than 30 staff at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) will showcase their artistic talents today, with a display of 100-plus pieces of their work, including photos, sculptures and paintings.

The second annual TGH Art Show, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will take place in the DeGasperis Conservatory or Patient Court, 4th floor, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. 

The brainchild of Scott McIntaggart, Executive Lead at TGH and Senior Vice-President at UHN, the one-day event is meant to inspire staff and volunteers, showing how they maintain their resilience in a creative way.

"We have many talented people at TGH and UHN," he says. "I wanted everyone to share in the works and artistry of our staff, and to perhaps think about doing something similar themselves.

"We were delighted that so many people decided to display their creations for the second year in a row."

The Toronto Star this week featured both a piece on permanent display by Tilda Shalof, a former Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit nurse at TGH, who now works at TWH, and the works of three different TGH staff members whose works will be featured at the show.

Tilda created a stunning multi-coloured piece entitled, "A Mural Moment," which hangs in the TGH ground-level hallway leading to MaRS. For more than 20 years, Tilda pulled, flipped, snapped and twisted many different caps, stoppers and lids as she cared for thousands of patients.

"They're so pretty, they're like jewels. Each tells a story, reminding me of my patients," she says.

The mosaic, which was conceived with the help of Toronto artist Vanessa Herman, has more than 10,000 pieces arranged into shapes that echo elements of cell biology, chemistry, botany and human anatomy.

Tilda hopes that the mural will be "a source of inspiration and energy for all the stressed, worried, and hopeful people who come here – and work here – and that it will be a pleasing and comforting place to rest the eyes and mind."

Some of the participants – and their works – in this year's TGH Art Show include:

Wharf at Salt Spring
​One of the pieces on display is "Saltspring Wharf" by Dr. Irving Salit. (Photo: Irving Salit)

Dr. Irving Salit, Medical Director of the HIV clinic, is an HIV and infectious disease specialist.

His photos adorn the walls and exam rooms of the HIV clinic as an ice breaker for patients, to make them feel more comfortable, to "get the conversation going."

"Pictures are a kind of magic, because they can stop people in their tracks, and hold them spellbound."   

Picture of hills
"Glacier moods" is a piece by nurse Skye Nicolson. (Photo: Skye Nicolson)​

Skye Nicolson, a nurse in the Emergency Department at TGH.

"As a former dancer, I'm drawn to movement, light, shapes and whimsy. I try and look for a hidden world in all my photos."

Colourful four panel piece
"Anguish" is a piece by Trinley Dorje, a physiotherapy assistant. (Photo: Trinley Dorje)​

Trinley Dorje is a physiotherapy assistant at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

"Within the hearts, the dark shadows represent heart failure and the bright colours represent health and recovery. This painting is dedicated to heart failure patients and our amazing team of clinicians in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre."

"Royal Terns" is a piece by Brenda Anderson-Sears of Digital@UHN. (Photo: Brenda Sears-Anderson)

Brenda Sears-Anderson, business operations manager in UHN Digital.

A fervent animal lover, Brenda likes to depict animals in their natural habitats, paying attention to the close bonds between family members.  Brenda is so focused on getting the details just right, that she sometimes paints through the weekend in her pajamas!

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