The Art Link provides a place of relaxation at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital

Jefferson Cherry Hill’s new medical building includes an art gallery near its main lobby featuring work from dozens of local artists.

At Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, healing begins when patients and families first enter the building.

Upon coming out of the parking garage located along Cooper Landing Road, people entering the hospital walk past dozens of pieces of warm, inviting artwork submitted by local artists. This artwork is part of The Art Link Gallery at Jefferson Health Cherry Hill and is a unique feature in the hospital’s new medical office building.

“We wanted to create this environment of healing on all levels,” said Christina Romano, Jefferson Cherry Hill’s Campus director of service excellence and guest relations “I think that Art Link supports what we’re trying to do here.”

The Art Link was designed as part of Jefferson’s new medical building. Shortly after the building opened in July 2017, Carol Gartzman Gooberman, an artist from Haddonfield, went on a tour. She noticed The Art Link and, upon learning about the concept, reached out to Romano about curating a gallery there.

“We knew she had a strong presence in the art community,” Romano said. “So we felt if she was that eager, we were willing to have her.”

Gooberman has a lengthy resume as an artist. Over the course of her career, she’s participated in numerous local art festivals. For more than a decade, she was the owner of The Art Depot in Merchantville. Gooberman also teaches classes at Haddonfield’s Markeim Arts Center.

Gooberman also has family ties to the Cherry Hill hospital. Her first husband, Alan Gartzman, and father-in-law, N. Harry Gartzman, both served as doctors at the hospital decades ago. Alan passed away following a car crash in 1985. In his memory, the fifth floor conference room at the hospital is named after him. Gooberman also donated two pieces of art to Jefferson’s new Cherry Hill building in honor of Alan as well as Harry, who passed away in 2013. Gooberman’s current husband, Bruce Gooberman, also has a connection to Cherry Hill Hospital. He worked there as an orderly in the 1970s.

To get Art Link started, Gooberman dived into her network of artists to gather pieces for the gallery.

“I just emailed all of my artist friends, some of my students, some people I knew in the community,” she said.

The Art Link started with 29 pieces of art from about a dozen artists and has grown from there. The artwork typically has a theme featuring the current season or nature. The pieces are swapped out roughly every six weeks.

The Art Link stretches down a long hallway running from Jefferson’s main lobby to the parking garage, meaning many visitors who step into the building will pass through the gallery during their visit. The gallery is also visible through windows, allowing patients who are staying in some parts of the building to view the artwork from their room.

“It’s meant to slow you down,” Romano said. “It’s also a place where you can step away from the medical floor. Not only for families and visitors and patients, but for our employees to step away. Some of our employees sit there and eat lunch every day.”

Gooberman said reception to the gallery has been positive and more artists have asked to get involved with The Art Link as time has gone on.

“I’ve had people approach me and I just tell them to email me and send me their pieces,” she said.

Many of the pieces are available for sale, with all of the proceeds going directly to the artist. Romano said Jefferson does not take any money from the sales of the artwork.

There are plans to invite more artists to submit work to the gallery. Romano is planning to reach out to the high schools in Cherry Hill to have teens submit work in the coming months. There are also plans for The Art Link to feature work from Jefferson employees as well as art groups from around the region.

“We are a community hospital,” Romano said. “Of course Cherry Hill West is right next door. We want to support the arts. That’s what it’s for, to have artists of all ages submit their work.”

For more information or to inquire about submitting artwork to The Art Link, email theartlinkgallery@jefferson.edu.