Project Overview

Meditation Chapel - Hope & Healing Center

...first engage viewers and then encourage viewers to consider the underlying themes and metaphors for the work.

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii were commissioned to design a space where individuals could retreat for meditation and reflection. Hirschfield and Ishii describe that their vision for this work was to first engage viewers and then encourage viewers to consider the underlying themes and metaphors for the work.


About the Artists

Jim Hirschield and Sonya lshii

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii have been collaborating on public artworks for over twenty years. As individual artists working together, they not only find their work and ideas complementary, they also find the process of collaboration an energizing one. They believe the collaborative process is a dynamic one where individuals, working together, push the breadth and range of art possibilities. They have both worked on a number and variety of projects ranging from public art plans to design team collaborations. Together they have received over 40 public art commissions, from Anchorage, Alaska to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from Providence, Rhode Island to Phoenix, Arizona. Their designs range from freestanding sculptures to architectonic spaces; from a pedestrian bridge at the North Carolina Zoological Park to a Mediation Room at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland Oregon. 

Jim and Sonya have also worked in collaboration with over 20 architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering design firms. These include both large international firms as well as smaller local firms. They received numerous awards. These include recognition awards from Americans for the Arts and the Cultural Olympiad, as well as fellowships and from the National Endowments for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Graham Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. 

Jim Hirschfield has a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and a M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. Sonya Ishii, who studied architecture at the University of Washington, has a B.F.A. from the University of Oregon. Jim and Sonya live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.