The Chihuly Sanctuary, a health care environment structure created by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, was unveiled Friday at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha.

The Chihuly Sanctuary features 10 site-specific art installations on the second and fourth floors in the heart of the 10-story cancer center. It was designed to provide a place of respite and reflection for patients, families and staff dealing with cancer.

It will serve as the cornerstone of the Healing Arts Program with art on display throughout the massive 615,000-square-foot, $323 million building on the campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine.

“It’s absolutely breathtaking, just stunning,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold. “Dale Chihuly’s creativity is astounding and unmatched. This is simply a treasure for our community. It will truly be a source of inspiration for anyone who views it.”

Omaha philanthropists Walter Scott and his late wife, Suzanne, made the lead gift to make the sanctuary possible. 

In all, the Healing Arts Program includes more than 200 pieces of original works of art throughout the building. The program eventually will extend across the medical center campus.

Another signature area within the cancer center is Leslie’s Healing Garden, an outdoor, all-season garden.

The cancer center will open its doors to its first patients in early June. Cancer research will be conducted in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Cancer Research Tower, which features 98 research labs. Clinical treatments will be delivered in the 108-bed C.L. Werner Cancer Hospital.


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