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Artwork at Avera Behavioral Health Center

Creating an Environment of Hope and Faith

Avera Behavioral Health Center is a soothing place of reflection and healing as much as it is a leading, research-driven treatment center. From the swirling butterfly sculpture that greets visitors as they enter the building to the uplifting paintings placed in patient rooms and waiting areas, our facility's artwork has been carefully selected to help create an environment of hope and faith in recovery.


Featured Artist: Eyob Mergia's Seasons

Born and raised in Ethiopia, painter Eyob Mergia graduated from the Ethiopian Fine Arts Institute in Addis Ababa in 1993. He emigrated to Sioux Falls in 1997, where his work has flourished. He has participated in many exhibitions, appeared in numerous publications, painted several murals and is represented in private collections nationwide.

A quote from the artist...

"As an artist I created this painting to give a sense of healing to the patients in the Avera McKennan hospitals.

  • The three groups of seven birds refer to seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, humility and self-control.
  • The cross within the circle represents the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. In the cross there are four symbols of the four seasons, thus concluding that the Holy Spirit is always present regardless of the time, situation or problems of a year.
  • The olive branches found in the mouths of the birds represent peace and eternal life. This is from the story of Noah's Ark found in the book of Genesis.
  • Also in my painting there are stars, which symbolize the Christian heaven.

I am thankful and honored to create a painting as such in hopes to create a sense of diversity and healing within the Sioux Falls community."

~ Eyob Mergia