Greensboro – A new stainless-steel sculpture shimmers in the Cone Health Cancer Center at Wesley Long Hospital Healing Gardens. The 12 ft. tree was created by Greensboro artist and cancer survivor Lawrence Feir in memory of Dr. Bill Bowman.

When Bowman died unexpectedly in 2021, 87 family and friends donated money for a memorial. Since Bowman spent every Thursday at the healing garden there was little doubt where the memorial should go. Gardeners had talked of a sculpture of a tree to fill an empty wall near the cancer center and they knew exactly where to find one. Feir is a cancer survivor who wanted to express his thanks for the care and compassion of staff. Between chemotherapy and radiation treatments in 2018, he found refuge in the tranquil gardens–sketching trees.

“I wanted to give back to all the doctors, nurses and patients who supported me through a very difficult time. They saved my life,” says Feir. “It was an honor to be selected to create a sculpture in memory of Dr. Bowman.”

Gay Bowman is thrilled with the result honoring her late husband who was a prominent Greensboro surgeon for 30 years. The silver silhouette of the tree reflects the light around it. At times, it has a green, almost moss-like border. At midday it turns silver. To Gay, the windswept, plasma cut branches carry a necessary reminder of not to stop when times get tough — but to move through them. “That was hard,” says Gay reflecting on the loss of Bill. “That’s what we want for the patients and families, to find hope, peace and tranquility, and to move forward.”

The Healing Garden at Cone Health Cancer Center was designed by landscape designer Sally Pagliai and has become a locally renowned place of respite and beauty. [source]