NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine program today announced the selection of 10 artists to create new murals at its facilities as part of the NYC Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project. The artists will design the murals through focus groups with patients, staff, and neighborhood residents, followed by community “paint parties” to create the mural. Selected from among 130 applicants, the artists include a mosaic artist, an augmented reality muralist, and a photomural artist. Decades of research have shown that the arts can play a role in “healing the healers” as well as improving patient outcomes and forging community health awareness and partnerships. The new murals will build on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project and recently featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021. The Community Mural Project and several other Arts in Medicine programs at NYC Health + Hospitals are possible with a grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
“Arts programming is part of a systemwide strategy to encourage a culture of healing for our patients, families and employees,” said Eric Wei, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals. “These uplifting murals are intentionally placed in busy corridors, clinics, and staff spaces to empower and engage our community.”
“The murals bring joy, they bring happiness, they bring self-awareness, and the Project brings a sense of community and of working together,” said Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
“Murals provide an immersive experience that directly contribute to the overall health for the people around them,” said Larissa Trinder, Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals. “In healthcare, research has shown that a person’s physical environment is important by providing a soothing and calming experience that correlates with better health outcomes. The Arts in Medicine community mural artists install joyful, bright and hopeful murals as an additional avenue to support public health.”
The Community Mural Project is believed to be the country’s largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s, when the depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioned murals in public buildings, including virtually every hospital in New York City’s public healthcare system. The WPA murals were the start of NYC Health + Hospitals art collection, which now is the city’s largest public art collection and includes more than 7,000 pieces of art of multiple disciplines. The art collection is used to enhance the healthcare environment, inspire creativity, promote wellness, increase access to the arts, and engage staff.
The following artists were selected for the latest round of the Community Mural Project:
Dister Rondon (@dister)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
DISTER is an artist, dancer, and choreographer. He founded the international collective I LOVE MY HOOD, which includes artists, educators, and activists who are dedicated to serving the greater good through Hip-Hop. His work is invested in providing free public art spanning across New York City.
Roy Secord (@roysecord)
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
Roy is a New York City-based public artist who creates large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures, glass, mosaics, terrazzo, and graphic arts. He is the first mosaic artist selected for NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Mural Project and a longtime patient of NYC Health + Hospitals system at multiple locations, including North Central Bronx hospital.
Jodi Dareal (@jodidareal)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
Jodi is an artist, songwriter, and video producer. She was born at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and now lives in Staten Island. Her art focuses on diverse communities working together, important issues in the black community, and women’s rights, and it is in the style of pop art and comic book realism.
Kristy McCarthy (@dgaleart)
NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
Kristy is a muralist, teaching artist, and community organizer who paints under the name “D.Gale.” Her art focuses on building community and raising awareness about social and environmental issues. She is a founding member of the Harlem Art Collective and has worked internationally, including in indigenous communities in Peru and Ecuador, where she co-founded an annual public art festival.
Rachel Alban (@fawn_photos)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler
Rachel is a photographer, writer, and educator based in Newark, NJ. Primarily known for documenting public art and collaborating with visual artists, she is developing the first photomural for NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Mural Project.
Stephanie Costello (@stephcostelloart)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
Stephanie is a Brooklyn-based artist and teaching artist. Her art is inspired by the energy and architecture of cities, revealing ways in which the urban environment shapes social life, imagination, and memory.
Yukiko Izumi (@yi_design_jp)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
Yukiko is a Japanese muralist and graphic designer based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Her art includes elements of her home country’s culture and design. Her art aims to counteract anxiety and loneliness by creating spaces that are bright and welcoming.
Ji Yong Kim (@jiyongkim_art)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter
Ji Yong is an artist and teacher based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. His art combines Buddhist iconography with pop culture imagery, influenced by his upbringing in Myanmar and South Korea.
Tijay Mohammed (@artoftijay)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
Tijay is a Bronx-based artist and teacher. His work is inspired by his Ghanaian heritage, and he maintains a studio in Yonkers and in Ghana. He has exhibited his works nationally and internationally, and also organizes workshops and community-based projects for museums, youth groups, and schools.
Zeehan Wazed (@zeehanwazed)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
Zeehan is a New York City-based artist who creates painting, sculpture, choreography, and creative new media. He is Bangladeshi American and grew up in Jamaica, Queens. His art is inspired by graffiti and dance, and he is the first augmented reality artist selected for NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Mural Project.
The Community Mural Project creates opportunities for hospital staff to collaborate with each other and with neighbors, relieve stress, and enhance the physical environment of the facilities. Healthcare worker burnout is a national health crisis, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has created mental health challenges across New York City, especially in low-income, immigrant and historically excluded communities, which are significant patient populations for NYC Health + Hospitals.
NYC Health + Hospitals has the largest public art collection in the city. Its collection of more than 7,000 artworks includes historic murals commissioned through the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, paintings, mosaics, photographs, sculptures, installation art, and murals by both emerging and established professional artists. The collection includes works by some of America’s leading artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Helen Frankenthaler, Mary Frank, Betty Blayton, Candida Alvarez, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and Keith Haring. More than an art collection, these works create a healing environment, activate spaces, engage staff, promote visual acuity, and expand access to the arts for 43,000 employees and more than 1.2 million patients who receive care NYC Health + Hospitals facilities.
NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine program was recently featured on PBS NewsHour: “Art and medicine intersect in New York City hospitals.”
About the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that strives to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities. The Illumination Fund plays an active role in supporting innovative approaches across a range of issues – ensuring that the arts and arts education are accessible to all, promoting civic service, and promoting economic opportunity. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding. The initiative’s areas of focus include the role of the arts in addressing mental illness stigma, trauma, and aging-related diseases. In 2019 the Illumination Fund supported the creation of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine Program, expanding programs serving health care staff, patients, and communities in sites across the City. The grant also enabled NYC Health + Hospitals to launch new programs that use the arts as a resource to promote employee wellness and resilience and to combat compassion fatigue. In 2021, in part due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Illumination Fund expanded its focus areas to include the arts in mental health. For more information, visit https://thelmtif.org/ or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.
About NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine Program
The Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals seeks to foster the emotional well-being and promote healing and wellness for all patients and their families, employees, and the greater community by utilizing the arts, including literary, visual, and performing arts throughout the health care system. In addition to managing the system’s significant visual arts collection, the Arts in Medicine department encourages evidenced based practices and provides technical assistance to all of the system’s health care facilities and clinics. This is accomplished by combining artistic innovation and education into a comprehensive health care continuum that supports the healing benefits of the arts. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/artsinmedicine/.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand LinkedIn.