Catherine Place holds reception to honor artist’s donation
July 24, 2007
Enjoying a reception at Catherine Place that celebrated an art donation called “Birdcastle Towers” are from left James Hood, creator of the artwork, Sister Marilyn Graf, RSM, Mercy Medical vice president of mission integration, Mary Kay Polys, Mercy Medical president and CEO, Ida Meyers, resident of Catherine Place, and Ange Baggett, Mercy Medical interim development director.
DAPHNE, Ala.—Catherine Place, a Mercy Medical assisted living community, hosted a reception in honor of James Hood who donated his Birdcastle Towers, the 2006 award-winning, Birdfest and Birditecture Festival artwork. Mendi Niblet, Catherine Place activities coordinator, and her staff organized the event. More that fifty Catherine Place residents attended the event, as well as Mrs. Mona Hood, Mercy Medical staff members, Valley O’Neal, Bay Rivers Art Guild (BRAG) president and Mercy volunteer, and Colette Waite, a local artist and BRAG member whose works are currently displayed at Catherine Place. BRAG is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for artistic growth in the community.
Mr. Hood designed his birdhouse as upscale luxury units for sophisticated birds. The structure features twenty-six suites, private balconies and a lavishly landscaped common area complete with public baths. An advocate of recycling, Mr. Hood used a variety of common household items in its construction. Perhaps the most intriguing features of the Birdcastle are the thirty-nine hand-made, whimsical, bird-like gargoyles that adorn the architecture.
A former intelligence officer and business executive, Hood has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Far East. His travels have influenced his style and approach to art. Since moving to the Eastern Shore in 2002, Hood has primarily focused on sculpture, combining serious classical life forms with found objects and whimsical forays.
Hood spoke about his work, how it has evolved, and talked about his experience with the Committee on Public Art’s “Art Takes Flight project”, in which local artists were sponsored to create artistic renderings of life-size fiberglass pelicans. Hood chose to render four pelicans in the guise of WWII airplanes, or “Warbirds.” Seventy pelicans by local artists will be exhibited during the month of September on the Eastern Shore and will be on displayed at the Eastern Shore Art Center during First Friday Artwalk in Fairhope. The pelicans will be sold at auction on September 29, with the proceeds going to public art projects. Hood has also recently completed an exhibit for the Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, soon to be unveiled.
Catherine Place is located on the 38-acre campus at 27440 County Road 13 in Daphne. For more information call 626.9000 or go online at www.mercymedical.com/CatherinePlace.