Art Commissions in the Spotlight


Michael Bauermeister


SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City


SSM Health

About the Artwork

Our client wanted a commissioned work of art that would tie into the architecture and interior design as well as the surrounding nature of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City. Additionally, SSM Health asked that the piece honors their Catholic heritage while remaining meaningful to the larger public.

ARCH Design proposed local artist Michael Bauermeister create an installation of carved wood panels to achieve these goals.

The hand-carved painted panels represent a literal and symbolic focus on the importance of roots — both of the organization’s religious heritage and those of the building’s ground floor diverging out to different areas of care.

wood sculpture
hand-carved wood sculpture

The resulting artwork symbolically expresses the notion of individuals extending care into the wider community. For some, the sculpture may symbolize the Biblical Tree of Life, while others may be reminded of the deep, verdant green of Missouri forestry.

Our client also wanted to incorporate the inspirational saying: “Like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, but our roots remain as one.”

Bauermeister’s installation underscores this idea, as it consists of several separate panels that span two walls but are unified by a single subject. The many hand-carved markings could symbolize to some viewers the idea of individuals being part of a larger community.

About the Artist

Known widely for his hand-carved wood sculptures, Missouri artist Michael Bauermeister demonstrates a connection with nature by using reclaimed wood from the region to create his sculptures.

As a resident of nearby Augusta, Missouri, the artist draws inspiration from the very woods that surround the hospital, making him an ideal choice for this commission.

local artist