The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 17, 2014

Artist paints murals at Open Door

MANKATO — There may have been times when Lisa Bierer has been without health insurance, but the Mankato woman's always had artistic talent.

She also has an attitude of gratitude.

Recently, the muralist gave her time and supplied the needed art materials to create two works in the new wing of Open Door Health Center. It was her way of thanking its staff for services provided to her family.

The non-profit health care center is a full family practice that provides medical services for infants up to senior citizens — especially to people who are experiencing financial restraints on top of their illnesses. A sliding fee scale is followed for patients at 200 percent of the poverty level guidelines or lower.

A few years ago, Bierer started to see Open Door doctors for treatment when she was sick and for her regular check ups to prevent illness.

"We were without health insurance for about a year and a half," she said.

Earlier this year, when Open Door was in the middle of renovating its original structure on Holly Lane and building an expansion, Bierer presented her proposal.

Her offer — free art for some walls in the new addition — was accepted.

"We want to provide our patients with a welcoming environment," said Lisa Hoffman Wojcik, development and communications manager for Open Door.

Last month, Bierer completed murals in two of the facility's soon-to-be patient care suites. Both works feature images from nature such as birds and trees.

Art by Bierer had decorated the walls of Open Door's original site on Walnut Street. The muralist also has commissioned works displayed throughout town, and was the artist responsible for freshening up Mexican Village's colorful walls.

"I've painted over the salsa splashes and added more faces to the Celebrity Wall," she said.

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