For children who are ill, a visit to the hospital can be rather intimidating, but artists Ann Craven and Jonas Wood are helping make that experience easier. Each of the artists created a joyful site-specific installation that was produced in collaboration with RxART, a nonprofit organization that pairs medical facilities with leading contemporary talents to help children heal through the power of art.
Los Angeles artist Jonas Wood infused the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC with his signature bold aesthetic, designing a playful series of brightly colored privacy curtains that will allow the 3,800 children who visit per year the chance to have their imagination run wild. “In the crowded, impersonal space of any hospital, privacy curtains often provide the only available respite,” RxART founder Diane Brown said in a statement. “Wood’s drawings have the power to transport, to divert, and to create a new experience within a space full of uncertainty.”
Encompassing over 900 feet and surrounding 66 beds, the curtains feature an array of imagery drawn from the artist’s “Facetime Doodle” paintings, which were inspired by his own children’s drawings. “I am happy to provide some vibrancy, energy and positivity to the hospital and its patients through this work,” said Wood.
Additionally, the Haas Brothers have been tapped to install their colorful sculptures in the hospital’s new lobby entrance, which is slated to be completed by 2021.
In San Diego, at the Chadwick Center at Rady Children’s Hospital, New York painter Ann Craven has devised a series of colorful wallcoverings titled “Sleepy Pandas”. The center is devoted to the treatment and advocacy of children who have suffered from abuse and trauma, and helps some 2,200 patients a year. “It’s such a pleasure and honor to help create a safe, healing space for the hospital,” said Craven. “I truly believe in the transformative power of art and can think of no one who would benefit or cherish it more than children.”
Following the installations with Wood and Craven, RxART plans to continue its work bringing positive, uplifting environments to more hospitals around the country. Currently, the nonprofit has additional projects in the works with artists including Nicolas Party and Nina Chanel Abney.