Andrea Triguba, RN holding up a ceiling tile she painted of a garden

Crave More Art? In Women’s Health, Just Look Up

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 by UVM Health Network - CVMC

No offense at all to our exceptional providers, but medical exams aren’t exactly what most patients call fun.

Women’s Health, however, gives them an artistic flair.

Thanks to the talents of WH’s own Andrea Triguba, RN, 14 exam rooms and 3 procedure rooms have transformed into miniature art galleries where ceiling tiles evoke, among other scenes, the shores of Lake Champlain and Waterbury Reservoir, Templeton Road in East Montpelier, a mountain meadow punctuated by inquisitive white horse.

In one whimsical portrait, Dr. Boris, a provider’s beloved Schnauzer, poses wearing a lab coat and stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff on his lap. In another room, a robin warily eyes viewers from her apple blossom perch.

Painting of Schnauzer dressed in doctor's coat

A few doors down, patients encounter an inviting garden path, flanked by foxglove and iris. This work is Andrea’s favorite because it’s her best friend Alma Mueller’s garden.

“It’s extra meaningful, this painting,” Andrea said, recalling her deep connection with Alma, a longtime CVMC nurse. They met shortly after Andrea arrived in Vermont from New York, by way of California. She was buying Alma’s car, but “we finished the sale and just kept talking, for 25 years.”

Alma died in 2014. The painting seemed a perfect way to memorialize their friendship.

“The idea (for the painting project) came to me after numerous patients said, ‘You need a picture on the ceiling,’” said Beverly Coon, RN, clinical coordinator for Women’s Health. The project was funded by CVMC’s Women’s Auxiliary, and “the tiles are very much appreciated by our patients.”

Painting on ceiling tiles was challenging in a slightly unexpected way – they’re taken down, so Andrea’s not painting overhead, but they soak up a lot more paint than regular canvas. How challenging was it to paint on a surface like that?

“I have to say I loved it,” Andrea said. “It’s very absorbent, but something about that texture kind of transforms what you’re doing. The dots (in the surface) aerate the paint and make it more impressionistic, with subtle versus hard lines. It was a different and enjoyable experience. I learned to paint in a different way.” Who knew ceiling tiles would be fun to paint on? All the paintings were fun, sort of like opening a Christmas present when they were finally done.”

Andrea learned to paint from her father, who gave art classes in their home. She attended The High School of Music and Art in New York City and has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (BFA) from City College of N.Y.

Andrea hopes to one day display additional artworks, including those of her son, to keep in the family tradition, in The Gallery at CVMC. In the meantime, she’s creating new pieces on traditional canvas, as well as ceramic tiles.

Andrea is a 30-year employee of CVMC.

Painting of bird in branches with pink blossoms

Painting of trees laden with snow

Painting of meadow with mountain in background

Painting of heron standing in a marsh

Painting of lake with mountains in background

Painting of barn set within fall foliage and yellow sky

Painting of horse standing in field

Painting of red barn set in field of golden hay

Painting of black swallowtail butterflies on red poppies

Painting of moon over lake with colorful sky

Painting of barn with pond in foreground

Painting of sailboat on a lake in the evening