Hospital Rooms That Can Help Kids Heal
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Ten years ago, Diane Brown found herself in a dreary hospital room, shocked that this kind of bleak environment was supposed to help her get well. Using her art-world connections, she persuaded a few friends to liven up some of these walls. A decade later, RxART is a thriving nonprofit that brings the work of world-class artists to patients whose spirits are lifted by the presence of colorful, inspirational contemporary art in their daily lives. Since then, artists like Jeff Koons, Matthew Ritchie, Alexis Rockman and William Wegman have lent their expertise to hospitals across the country. A 10th anniversary celebration and fundraiser on November 15 in New York City will feature new work by Ryan McGinley and Terry Richardson.
At Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, RxART commissioned world-renowned contemporary artist Jeff Koons to a create a site-specific installation incorporating a CT scanner and the room in which it's housed.
Koons's iconic characters soothe and cheer young patients and brighten the typically sterile and potentially scary testing environment.
At NYU Child Study Center in New York, Ryan McGinness installed three large multi-part decals by Assume Vivid Astro Focus in a playroom and hallway.
Since the same graphics appear over and over throughout the space, the decals can act like a memory game for kids, who entertain themselves by spotting similar characters in different parts of the building.
In the waiting area of the center, where anxiety can be high for both kids and parents, patients are entranced by a projection of the video Jellyfish by Dominik Lejman.
At Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Jason Middlebrook's Traveling Seeds wall mural is a thematic element throughout the hospital.
The seeds are seen "blowing" throughout the space, and "sprouting" in unique and surprising places throughout the building, just like dandelions or other plants find cracks in the pavement to grow.
For St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, RxART commissioned and installed six artworks by Rob Pruitt and two large paintings by Will Cotton for the hospital’s newly constructed cafeteria, Kay Kafe. Cotton’s artworks commonly depict confections. He created two 6-by-10 canvases of photorealistic gingerbread houses.
Rob Pruitt created works illustrating his signature pandas using spangles, which shimmer and reflect light when stimulated by touch or air currents.
William Wegman's iconic series featuring his Weimaraner dogs parade down the hallway at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. The dogs are dressed in costumes depicting famous figures in history and Hollywood, much to the delight of children and their parents.
At Boston Children's Hospital, John Monti’s vibrant and playful installation features large plastic elements that affix to the hallways like sequins.