Hadley Art Collection at Hays Medical Center
2220 Canterbury Dr, Hays, KS 67601
The Hadley Art Collection is located at the Hays Medical Center and includes over 400 works of art including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and sculptures by various Kansas artists. The collection began in 1974 and can be viewed using a self-guided brochure that is available through the Volunteer’s Office which is located near the hospital gift shop. Also on the Hadley campus is a Meditation Garden which features a statue by local artist Pete Felten.
The statue of a nun in the front of the garden has had a rather interesting journey to her current location. The nun was sculpted by Felten, a native of Hays and an artist who sculpts figures using primarily limestone. At the time, in the early 1980s, St. Anthony’s Hospital wanted a sculpture located in the front of their building located near 22nd and Canterbury. During the process of Felten working with the hospital, he thought a sculpture of a nun would be an appropriate piece of art in front of the hospital. Pete had observed that you just don’t see sculptures of nuns, but in the history of St. Anthony Hospital, the nuns played a major role. The religious order of Sisters of the Congregation of St. Agnes founded the first St. Anthony Hospital on West 13th Street in downtown Hays. The tricky part that Felten found out, was how to accurately represent a nun and deciding how to position her arms. He considered if her arms should be at her side, lifted or what would be the appropriate stance. The artist also likes to add a special feature to each of his sculptures, almost like a hidden little treasure the viewer is surprised to find. In the case with the nun, he added a small dove the nun is holding in her hand behind her back. The statue was completed in 1982, moved to the entrance in front of St. Anthony Hospital and proudly dedicated that year.
In 1991, when St. Anthony Hospital and Hadley Regional Medical Center merged into a single medical facility, the newly formed hospital board for Hays Medical Center decided to hold a competition for a new two-piece sculpture that could symbolize the unity of the new hospital’s two campuses, which were two miles apart. During the construction phase of merging the two hospitals, Felten was asked to temporarily move the nun statue. This concerned Felten because, “Taking statues down isn’t the easiest job in the world… Where do you put an old statue?” For many years she was located at his gallery located on 6th Street. After the Hadley campus was closed in 2000 and the new Meditation Garden area was developed on the northwest area outside the Hays Medical Center, the hospital asked Felten to move the statue again, only this time there was a problem. During the move, a crack in the lower portion of the statue caused it to break off about four feet from the bottom. Felten had to modify the statue at the bottom so it could be displayed on its new base. For over 10 years now the nun has watched over visitors to the Meditation Garden who seek peace and relaxation in nature among the flowers, shrubs and water features of this beautifully landscaped oasis on the hospital grounds.
Guided tours can be arranged upon request by calling (785) 623-5890.
Hours: Daily 8 am-6 pm