Cancer Center Art: the Art and Artists

James Shay art

The last issue of Tahoe Cancer News provided some background into the selection process for the art in Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. Here, and in the next issue, we introduce some of the artists and their works.

When you come into the lobby, look behind the reception desk to see an example of semi-abstract Sierra Nevada art in James Shay’s Scenic Sierra. Shay, formerly a professional architect, paints with casein on archival panels, scraping and sanding surfaces to give a visual richness. He finishes with a matte varnish. His paintings evoke the western American landscape with simple shapes, forms and strong color.

Heifetz sculptureSong, by Milton D Heifetz, MD, is a bronze sculpture, sensual in its simplicity and elegance. The wooden base and rock alcove that house it were designed especially to highlight this work of art for the Cancer Center. Milton Heifetz practiced neurosurgery for 40 years, authored Ethics in Medicine and invented the “Heifetz Clip,” a commonly used neurosurgical device. He began sculpting in both bronze and marble in 1945. He was also Dr. Laurence Heifetz’ dad.


Pamela Hunt Lee ArtPamela Hunt Lee represents the details and power in our natural surroundings in her painting, Cairn. The stacked rocks, typically set up as a landmark, offer patients and their caregivers a sense of equilibrium and balance in all of life. Hunt Lee lives in Kings Beach and is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Her art works present her view of the beauty of nature and demand attention through their size and composition.


Brent Baker artOrganic shapes and bold colors define Brent Baker’s Florals and offer the viewer a way to chart thoughts and transcend human spirit. Baker’s work is in several corporate and private collections and is exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the country. It has been commissioned for Nordstrom national department stores and is in his greeting card line available through several fine specialty stores.

Feel free to tour our art at the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center and consider what each of these pieces says to you. Do you find they evoke a sense of power, vibrancy and energy or feelings of peace, hope, comfort and calm?