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High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center – Art Purchase

Mental Health
High Desert Regional Health Center
335 East Avenue I
Lancaster, CA
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Latitude: 34.70539 - Longitude: -118.12468
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Project Description

The County of Los Angeles built four of its first residential mental health and well-being campuses to address a continuum of needs for the population experiencing homelessness. These Restorative Care Villages will provide a new environment for this vulnerable population with a comprehensive and holistic approach to the interrelated and complex needs of homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, job training/housing, and medical co-morbidity. The Civic Art Division developed an art purchase program as part of the Restorative Care Villages (RCVs) at the High Desert Campus.
Two original artworks entitled “Nurslings of the Sky, part 1” and “Nurslings of the Sky, part 2” by the artist Michael Waugh were purchased for the High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center Youth Common and Reception Areas, each depicting scenes of a colorful summer sky crossed by a dreamlike flock of birds. Over a painted background, Waugh utilized the calligraphic technique called micrography, in which letters and words form to draw the delicate figures in flight. To create these drawings, Waugh chose to transcribe an essay called “Nurslings of the Sky” written in 1903 by Mary Hunter Austin. As an early feminist and defender of Native American and Spanish American rights, Austin is best known for her written tributes to the deserts of California, lovingly describing the gentle desert clouds as “Nurslings of the Sky.”