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Creating murals in public spaces

George Dawnay has painted murals in Tuscan villas and Parisian entry halls, on Roman ceilings and the walls of a Sebastiani home in Sonoma. Now he’s made the leap from private mansions to public spaces, sharing the splendor of his amazing artistic talent on the walls and hallways of Sonoma Valley Hospital.

First commissioned by hospital CEO Kelly Mather to paint the long ground floor hall that leads from the lobby to the skilled nursing facility, his work was so inspiring he was asked to paint two more in the new emergency and operating wing, one in the children’s play area and the other in the massive stairwell. Dawnay has been on site with his paints and brushes for two months, jumping from one mural to the other as the spirit moves him.

“They cheer you up,” he said of his work, “And hopefully they will relax people.”

For the 103-foot-long hallway Mather gave him four themes she wanted portrayed, each representing goals of the hospital – to be nurturing, community oriented, empathetic and caring, and encouraging of staff wellness.

Dawnay first created a large sample drawing for approval, and once through that process painted four scenarios – a mother with her infant, Sonoma City Hall and Plaza with people enjoying life on a farmers market-esque afternoon, an older hand clasping a younger one and a doctor with arms outstretched as if to embrace the world.


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