Updated: Aug 29
In 2019, I had the opportunity to connect with a special woman. Traci Teraoka owned her own furniture and art store in San Francisco named Poetica Art and Antiques for nearly a decade, while also working as a design consultant for Bay Area nonprofits specializing in hospice and bereavement care. Her style of design focuses on creating healing environments for people coping with illness and loss, through elevating healthcare spaces with meaningful artwork and comfortable furniture. That year, Traci was working on several design projects when she discovered my art during the Sonoma Art Trail Open Studios.
“I was looking through the S.A.O.S. catalog that features thumbnails showcasing a piece of artwork from participating artists with a brief description of their work and couldn’t take my eyes off Lucy’s poppy painting. I made a special trip to her art studio in Fulton—a few days before the Covid lockdown—to see it for myself. Upon meeting Lucy and seeing her gallery, I knew this would make a positive impact on anyone who saw it."
- Traci Teraoka
Traci and I met face-to-face in early March 2020 and immediately made a strong connection as we discussed our mutual interest in sharing uplifting art with the public and our community. She then introduced my artwork to the CEO and CFO of By the Bay Health, who had been working with Traci to refresh and update their headquarters’ public rooms. They both wholeheartedly agreed that the themes of inspiration, resilience, and hope made my art a wonderful fit for their mission. Though they had limited essential workers on site, they decided to push forward with the interior updates and create focal points centered around this collection of art.
My work prominently features California’s flora and fauna, whose resilience and diversity serve as a constant source of inspiration to me. From colorful blooms to dried seed pods, every phase of a flower’s life cycle has a purpose, reminding me of the scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1—“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (ASV). Many of our state’s native plants are adapted to periods of drought…or periodic wildfires. They are survivors. Taking this inspiration from Sonoma County landscapes, my work seeks to express the beauty that can be found after devastation, and the process of healing after hardship—ideas which connect to the challenging but impactful work of By the Bay Health in supporting its surrounding communities and families and staff.
In August 2020, eight large Giclée prints of my artworks were installed in By the Bay Health’s freshly painted and decluttered lobby and major public areas. "Springing Forth” was placed on display in the front reception area—the bright poppies immediately greet any patient checking in. Each staff member I spoke with expressed their delight at the new artwork in the healthcare facility. The rich colors and themes of nature and rich colors lifted their spirits as they tirelessly went about their work. I am deeply thankful for this positive reception from the staff, and the wonderful work of re-imagining the space done by Traci.
“Lucy, your art has brightened our spirits and our building and I thank you for generously sharing all your pieces with us.”
- Kitty Whitaker, CEO of BTBH
My goal as an artist is to bring hope to people who are suffering or going through trials, and so this opportunity to contribute to our community’s spiritual and emotional well-being was important to me. In fact, it was through the process of creating artwork for hospitals throughout the Bay Area, including Kaiser and Sutter hospitals in Sonoma County, that I discovered a voice for my work. I had been working with several art consultants specializing in artwork for healthcare facilities in Northern California when Traci approached me, and so I was thrilled to collaborate with her to decorate waiting rooms, lobbies, and other spaces in their newly renovated headquarters. It was an amazing opportunity to display a cohesive body of artwork in a healthcare setting and introduce my work to the staff, patients and families in Marin County. It has been an honor to see my paintings touching lives by providing moments of peace, comfort, joy and beauty.
Read more about each of the works currently housed at By the Bay Health’s headquarters here: bythebayhealth.org/new-artwork-springs-forth-at-larkspur-office/.
*Hospice by the Bay was founded in 1975. For many decades it was one of the leading providers in SF and the North Bay for end of life care, providing a range of services to support both patients and their families. In 2021, the organization renamed itself to By the Bay Health, reflecting their expanded mission to offer skilled home care, pediatric care, palliative care and hospice care. For more information please go to their website: bythebayhealth.org.