Friendship, love of UK inspires artwork at Chandler Hospital


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From left, Kentucky graduates Nancy Barnes Moore, Dr. John Clements and Beth Morton Perlo pose by the art installation “Ode to Matisse,” made by fellow UK graduate Dr. Jennie Heim Franz in front of the entrance to the Gill Heart Institute at Chandler Medical Center. (Hal Morris Photo)


By Hal Morris

It is both a testament to more than 50 years of friendship and a love of a university.

A sculpture of totem poles in the lobby of the Albert B. Chandler Hospital was created by a UK graduate and dedicated by six UK alums who have remained friends long after their undergraduate days.

The piece, “Ode to Matisse,” was made by Dr. Jennie Heim Franz ’67 AS, ’71 MED, a retired developmental pediatrician who is now a sculptor. It stands at the entrance to the Gill Heart Institute and consists of seven tubes of brightly colored shapes applied to pipes of  varying heights.

This was a gift to the hospital from Franz and her late husband, thoracic suregeon Dr. Jerry L. Franz ’71 MED along with college friends Dr. John H. Clements ’67 DMD and his late wife, Lynn Schuster Clements ’67 ED, Beth Morton Perlo ’67 BE and Nancy Barnes Moore ’67 AS. Moore was president Pi Beta Phi sorority at Kentucky in 1966.

Moore, Clements and Perlo were all in Lexington for the recent Class of 1967 Golden Wildcat reunion. Perlo, a former UK Alumni Association board member, and Barnes, had not seen piece before and said that they were thrilled with the results.

Franz was not able to be at the mini-reunion because she is back home in Mansfield, Texas, recovering from back surgery. However, her friends were more than happy to show off her design.

Clements said that Dr. Michael Karpf, the recently retired executive vice president for health affairs for UK Healthcare, contacted him about a donation for a piece of art in the lobby at the new Chandler Hospital. Clements, who practiced dentistry in Lexington for 40 years and a recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Service Award that is given by the UK Alumni Association, liked the idea, got the group together and tried to come up with something meaningful.

“We have stayed connected, so when Lynn and John said we’d like to be in on dedicating something, and have Jennie do it, we all wanted to do that,” Moore said.

“Because we all feel we got a great education here at UK,” said Perlo.

“We’ve always supported UK,” Clements says. “I wouldn’t be what I am without UK.”

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