Press Release

International Design Firm HKS to Donate In-Kind Architectural Services To RxART Supporting Design and Realization of Art Commissions At Children’s Hospitals Around Country

New York, NY
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As RxART’s Architecture Partner, HKS will Help Realize Major Upcoming Projects Including New Installations by Nicolas Party, Derrick Adams, Ann Craven and Nina Chanel Abney in 2020

RxART announced today that the international design firm HKS will become its official Architecture Partner, providing architecture and design services at no cost and collaborating with the nonprofit on the realization of artist commissions each year. Championing a holistic model of care, RxART partners with leading contemporary artists to create site-specific interventions, installations, and works of art at children’s hospitals and medical facilities around the country, introducing beauty, humor, and comfort into once sterile and intimidating spaces. 

Since its founding in 2000, RxART has commissioned and completed nearly 50 projects across 18 cities in the U.S., each realized at no cost to the hospital and each including an honorarium for the artist, in recognition of their priceless contributions. Major upcoming projects by RxART include: 

a 207-foot-long mural by Nicolas Party, leading to the operating rooms at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; 

•the installation of over 900 feet of privacy curtains designed by Jonas Wood, surrounding 66 beds in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Hospital; 

•a series of panda bear wall coverings by Ann Craven at The Chadwick Center in San Diego, which treats abused and traumatized children; and 

playful wallpaper designs by Derrick Adams that will animate six treatment rooms at Harlem Hospital. 

“We are incredibly grateful to HKS and excited to announce this partnership. Having an official Architecture Partner is such a vital asset and will allow us to provide the artists with the best tools to complete their projects,” states founder Diane Brown. “2020 marks our 20th anniversary of commissioning and realizing public installations of visual art in children’s hospitals. Every project requires an incredible investment of effort from the commissioned artists, as well as from our fabricators, production partners, and hospital staff. We are so grateful to HKS and to all of our partners, including the artists and hospital staff with whom we so closely collaborate, for helping to realize these unique and inspirational projects.” 

“Studies demonstrate that patients benefit from art in hospitals,” said Ellen Mitchell-Kozack, founder and co-director of Citizen HKS, HKS’ public interest design initiative that partners with non-profit organizations on social impact projects around the world. “Art is proven to aid in the healing process and recovery of patients, from shorter hospital stays to pain management and more. We’re excited to partner with RxART and offer our skills for their public art installations,” added Mitchell-Kozack.

Forthcoming projects include: 

Ann Craven: Wall Coverings 

The Chadwick Center, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego

December 2019

Known for her bold depictions of the natural world that fuse nostalgic images and bright colors, Ann Craven is creating a site-specific mural for the lobby of The Chadwick Center, which specializes in the treatment of abused and traumatized children. Craven’s mural of sleepy panda bears will be situated at the entry point for families coming to the Center to receive care. Working with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to ensure effective service, the Chadwick Center at Rady Children’s Hospital offers a range of programs to families and children that prevent, identify, and treat the effects of traumatic experiences. 

Ann Craven (b. 1967) is a New York City-based painter. Fascinated by birds, the moon, flowers, and animals, Craven creates brightly colored paintings drawn from personal observations that serve as a record of her life and practice.

Jonas Wood: Privacy Curtains

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC 

January 2020 

In his first collaboration with RxART, Jonas Wood has designed privacy curtains with bold colors and bright graphics, creating a playful space and much needed respite from hospital activity for patients and their families. Encompassing a total of 960 feet, the privacy curtains will surround 66 beds in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Hospital in DC.  Children’s National is one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the nation, serving more than of 14,000 children per year. This collaboration marks the first time RxART has worked with an artist to design privacy curtains, which are often the only barrier for patients from the bustling and crowded areas of the intensive care wing. 

Jonas Wood (b. 1977) is a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles who uses painting, drawing, and printmaking to create bold, patterned graphic works that depict objects, interiors, plants and people. Translating the three-dimensional into flat color and line, Wood distorts scale and perspective in compositions that merge historical references with his everyday life. 

Derrick Adams: Wallpaper for Six Treatment Rooms  

Pediatric Emergency Department at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, New York City

March 2020

Derrick Adams is designing wallpaper for six treatment rooms in the Pediatric Emergency Department at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. The Pediatric Emergency Department services more than 18,000 ill and injured infants, children, and adolescents annually. In operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, medical providers use the treatment rooms to perform examinations and provide treatments and procedures. This will be RxART's second collaboration with the hospital, following the 2019 installation of a Keith Haring wall decal in the center’s waiting room.

Derrick Adams (b. 1970) is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist working in performance, video, sound, sculpture, collage, painting, and drawing. His practice focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, exploring identity.

Urs Fischer: PJs 

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Los Angeles

Spring 2020 

Urs Fischer is designing hospital-grade PJs for pediatric patients to wear during their hospital stay. Developed in partnership with FIGS medical apparel brand, the pajamas will feature a playful print and are made of antimicrobial, liquid repellent fabric, with plastic snaps that are safe for MRI machines and X-Rays, and have full back-coverage, so no child feels embarrassed or exposed during their course of treatment. Fischer previously collaborated with RxART to create wallpaper and ceiling designs for Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center in Los Angeles. 

Urs Fischer (b. 1973) is a New York City-based multimedia artist. Combining photography, painting, and sculpture, Fischer is best known for his large-scale sculptures and site-specific installations that distort scale and perception of everyday objects, creating an illusionistic and often humorous effect.  

Nicolas Party: Mural 

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Los Angeles

Mid-2020

Nicolas Party is creating a site-specific mural for the vast, 207-foot long corridor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which provides nearly 16,000 surgeries annually to children of all ages. Traversed by children, parents, and healthcare providers as they head to the operating rooms, the hallway—with stark white walls and severe lighting—has long been a blight for patients and hospital staff. Party’s mural will transform the corridor with uplifting and poetic imagery.  In honor of this collaboration, Party was recognized at the annual RxART PARTY with the 2019 Inspiration Award.

Nicolas Party (b. 1980) is a multimedia artist based in New York City and Brussels. Party is best known for his color-saturated pastel paintings, murals, and sculpture. Exploring the nature of representation, Party creates portraits, landscapes, and still lifes of everyday objects, using bright colors and graphic compositions.  

Nina Chanel Abney: Wall Coverings 

The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

Mid-2020

Nina Chanel Abney is designing vibrant, narrative wallpaper for the pediatric waiting room at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a leading center for ophthalmic care, serving more than 7,500 pediatric patients per year. Building on Abney’s history of making works of public art, her design for the Wilmer Eye Institute will combine representation and abstraction to create a mesmerizing composition for children and families to explore while they wait for care. 

Nina Chanel Abney (b. 1982) is a multimedia artist based in New York City. Using collage, painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques, Abney creates large scale compositions, often public murals, that address pop culture and racial conflicts. 

About HKS

HKS is a global firm of architects, designers, advisors, and makers driven by curiosity and devoted to creating places that combine beauty with performance. Our 1,400 people in 24 locations are united by our shared culture and sense of purpose. We value honesty, diversity, and inclusion and we celebrate creative thinking across our firm. In partnership with each other, our clients, and our partners, we craft powerful ideas and solutions. Together we create places that stand apart.

About RxART

RxART champions the transformative power of art to promote healing and comfort in children. Working in close partnership with pediatric hospitals and medical professionals, RxART commissions leading contemporary artists to create site-specific installations and uplifting interventions, infusing beauty, humor, and comfort into once sterile, intimidating environments. From murals, wall covering designs, and CT Scan wraps, to privacy curtains and artist-designed pajamas, RxART has completed nearly 50 projects in hospitals across 18 cities in the U.S. since it first launched in 2000. Developed at no cost to the hospitals, RxART projects provide artists with unique opportunities to create works of public art with a purpose, staged in often unexpected spaces that help transform the lives of children as they heal. 

For more information, please visit www.rxart.net 

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