Five Art Exhibitions Unveiled at Natividad

(SALINAS, CALIF., June 1, 2023) – Natividad Foundation hosted a special unveiling celebration on May 30 of the artists whose works are newly displayed for visitors, staff and patients at Natividad.

Natividad Foundation donors and artists enjoyed an evening surrounded by art, food and specialty coffee. The event featured keynote speaker Enid Baxter Ryce, Professor of Experimental Arts, Cinematic Arts and Environmental Studies, California State University Monterey Bay, and creator of the nine-piece Salinas Fog exhibition she painted for Natividad.

Professor Baxter Ryce said, “I love the fog. In Irish mythology, being surrounded by mist is a way to be carried to the magical worlds. To create this series, I painted the landscape south and surrounding Salinas from memory and then let the fog drift in using white, silver and gold,” said Baxter Ryce. “I hope these paintings will help viewers daydream about magical worlds that the fog brings to our abundant fields.” 

The 2023 Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association (MBPAPA) exhibition spans the long hallway from Surgical Services to D’Arrigo Family Specialty Services. The theme — Farm to Frame — was selected to highlight the agricultural industry of California. SSB Construction sponsors the exhibition, which features 40 plein air paintings and represents the 10 years of a longstanding partnership between MBPAPA and Natividad Foundation to bring works of art to Natividad. 

“Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association was honored to be a participant in the Natividad Foundation’s art exhibit “The Art of Healing”.  As painters, our biggest reward is to touch the emotions of our viewers.” said Linda Elling, MBPAPA President. “Through the use of color, light and subject the artist can evoke feelings of tranquility, happiness and hope. In this way, we are pleased to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of patients and staff at Natividad.” 

MBPAPA paintings are for sale, with 30% of sales proceeds supporting the Spiritual Care program of Natividad Foundation. Juror Warren Chang selected Rankin Pasture by Julia Munger Seelos as the first-place winner, Wet Earth, Filice Ranch by Georgesse Gomez as the second-place winner, and Moss Landing Field by Sherree Anderson as the third-place winner. To purchase and view the year-long exhibition, an online gallery is available by visiting

The Rose River Memorial joins the list as a temporary exhibition. This spring, Natividad, led by its Wellness Committee, joined other local organizations and Heal Together, a program established by Hospice Giving Foundation, to participate in a project to honor our local community whose lives were affected by COVID-19. As part of this effort, hospital staff and volunteers made red felt roses to memorialize the more than 800 lives lost to COVID-19 in Monterey County.

The red rose symbolizes courage and valor and is the national flower of the United States. The roses are hand-crafted by Natividad staff and volunteers out of red eco-felt. The artist behind the concept, Marcos Lutyens, mounted the roses to recycled fishing nets, including some that were extracted from marine preserves. Photographer and artist Kirk Kennedy then mounted and installed the display on the wall. The project was funded in part by Natividad Foundation.

Located adjacent to Salinas Fog and the Rose River Memorial, the Arts Council’s Visions of Monterey County exhibition, curated by Deborah Good, features 10 paintings by artists, including Annemarie Cassidy, Erin Lee Gafill and Lynn Zwagerman. They are available for sale by visiting

“The mission of the Arts Council is to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region through the arts,” said Jacquie Atchison, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Monterey County. “The partnership with Natividad Foundation brings the healing power of art to our dedicated health care staff and the patients and families cared for at Natividad.” 

Also outside of Surgical Services, Historic Monterey Peninsula exhibition features Harriet Mayland’s (1919-1992) oil paintings acquired in the 1970s for a private collection. Images were expertly photographed and reproduced by Kirk Kennedy, who then mounted them in hand-crafted wood frames. As a well-known artist in Carmel, Mayland’s paintings displayed life, motion and sweeping lines. Her unique style of working with a loaded brush and palette knife to canvas set Mayland apart from other painters of the time. The Natividad exhibition features historic buildings of Monterey, including the Custom House, the Stevenson House and Colton Hall, plus iconic ocean scenes, including the original Lone Cypress.

“We are thrilled to have our mother’s artwork and legacy live on at Natividad,” said Harriet’s daughter, Janet Mayland. “We hope her work brings people joy and comfort.”

Art can be pleasant and distracting; and often improves the well-being of patients, visitors and staff. In addition, research shows that the presence of art can also be beneficial for health outcomes, including length of stay and pain tolerance.  

“Natividad Foundation has transformed the hospital into a warm, welcoming and healing environment that feels more like home,” said Natividad CEO Dr. Chad Harris. “The Foundation has truly embraced their Art of Healing program, which now touches nearly every public- and patient-facing area in our hospital.”

The installations and exhibitions are all located in public areas on Level 2 of the hospital and were made possible by generous donations to Natividad Foundation. Natividad’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Hillary Fish, curated the art for all but the MBPAPA exhibition, and the Engineering department staff were instrumental in bringing the exhibitions to the hospital. Dr. Wendell Harry hosted the extravagant coffee bar at the event. 

“This year, as Natividad Foundation celebrates our 35th anniversary, we recognize the partners and donors who have been instrumental in helping the hospital provide patient-centered care,” said Natividad Foundation CEO and President Jennifer Williams. “Art transforms the hospital experience at Natividad into a healing experience for everyone.”

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Natividad Foundation brings people together to strengthen Natividad and create a healthier community. Together with our partners, we help Natividad provide high-quality health care and trauma services for everyone in Monterey County, including the vulnerable.

Natividad Foundation’s public-private partnerships help Natividad go above and beyond what it could do on its own. Providing funding for medical equipment, programs and training helps ensure all patients get the best care. Together, we help innovate so Natividad can provide the best medical and emotional outcomes for all in Monterey County.

Natividad Foundation is a 501(c)(3): *Silver Transparency 2023 – Candid. Find out more at