Nina Chanel Abney’s Upbeat Graphics Enliven a Pediatric Hospital

Surface — October 21, 2022

October 21, 2022

Written by Ryan Waddoups

When the pandemic broke out in 2020, Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, was the country’s hardest hit medical facility. So enlivening the pediatric unit was top of mind for Diane Brown, the founder of RxART, a nonprofit that breathes life into sterile medical spaces through vibrant installations by big-name artists. (Previous collaborators: Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, and Nicolas Party.) At Elmhurst, she enlisted Nina Chanel Abney to spruce up a waiting room with an array of exuberant characters, shapes, and interlocking graphics in contrasting colors. The intervention is a welcome salve for patients anxiously awaiting care—and a symbol of the neighborhood’s status as one of the world’s most diverse communities.