RxART Announces Nina Chanel Abney Installation at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

RxART — October 19, 2022

Queens, NY – October 19, 2022 – RxART is proud to announce the completion of an installation by Nina Chanel Abney in the Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. Abney created a whole world of brightly colored, happy characters, shapes, and interlocking graphics to provide a positive distraction for the patients and their families as they wait to receive critical care. RxART and Abney worked with lead designers at Ralph Appelbaum Associates to transform the artist’s imagery into wall coverings and vinyl decals for the windows, which can be viewed from inside the clinic as well as from the bustling public spaces outside the hospital.

We are tremendously proud to have had the opportunity to work with Nina Chanel Abney, an extraordinarily talented and generous artist, on such an important project,” said Diane Brown, RxART’s Founder and President. “It has been a privilege to see this joyful installation come to life for the patients, families and dedicated staff at Elmhurst Hospital.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst provides services for approximately 15,000 pediatric and adolescent patients annually. The hospital is located in the most ethnically diverse community in the world – Elmhurst, Queens – and provides translation services in over 125 languages. Elmhurst was the hardest hit hospital in the U.S. at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the staff could not be more grateful to have Abney’s uplifting installation bring joy and vibrancy to their patients and community.

NYC H+H/Elmhurst is thrilled to have a unique and immersive art experience for our smallest patients and their families in the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic courtesy of RxART and Nina Chanel Abney,” said Amy Harris, Associate Executive Director for Ambulatory Care Services at New York City Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “Nina Chanel Abney’s large-scale waiting room artwork is a feast for the eyes!  The faces, symbols and phrases painted using bright, primary colors appeal to young children and invite a playful and welcoming healthcare environment for them. We are ecstatic that this art treasure is now available for our patients, staff and employees to see and experience.

Every RxART Project is produced at no cost to the hospital and each commissioned artist is provided with an honorarium and the opportunity to inspire children throughout their medical journeys. Nina Chanel Abney’s project for NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was produced thanks to generous support from Glori Cohen and Agnes Gund. Project donor and RxART Board Member Glori Cohen said, “I’m honored and so excited to have been able to help support Nina Chanel Abney’s RxART Project for Elmhurst! This project started as a small idea and Nina has been incredibly generous and creative in expanding it for a full installation throughout the entire pediatric clinic.”

Nina Chanel Abney (b. 1982, Chicago, IL) combines representation and abstraction to capture the pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, and art history, her works put forth unique narratives as opposed to confined linear storytelling. Through her use of color and impressive scale, Abney’s compositions propose a new type of history painting. Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include shows at Gordon Parks Foundation, ICA Miami, and MoCA Cleveland (2022), the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2021-2022), the Contemporary, Dayton (2021), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2019); The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); The Modern, Fort Worth (2018); The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke, Durham (2017). Selected group exhibitions of the artist’s work include shows at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2018), among others. The artist currently lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.

The mission of RxART is to help children heal through the extraordinary power of visual art. RxART commissions leading contemporary artists to transform children’s hospital settings into engaging and inspiring healing environments full of beauty, humor, and comfort. Abney’s installation marks
RxART’s 57th completed project. Working in the mediums of murals, wall covering designs, and CT Scan wraps, to privacy curtains and hospital-grade pajamas, the organization has collaborated with 66 artists in 37 hospitals across 21 cities in the U.S. since it first launched in 2000. Every project is produced at no cost to the partner hospitals and every commissioned artist is provided with an honorarium and the chance to inspire children during their medical journeys. As of 2022, RxART Projects have reached and continue to provide inspiration for over 2 million patients throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.rxart.net

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, part of the NYC Health + Hospitals healthcare system, is the major tertiary care provider in the borough of Queens. The 545-bed hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center, an Emergency Heart Care Station, a Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Receiving Center, a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Center of Excellence and a 911-Receiving Hospital. It is a premiere healthcare organization for several specialties, including surgery, cardiology, women’s health, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, renal services, and mental health services. Last year, the hospital received close to 700,000 ambulatory care visits and over 130,000 emergency room visits. The hospital has been nationally-ranked by US News and World Report in key areas, including Orthopedics, Congestive Heart Failure, COPD, Diabetes, Heart Attack, Kidney Failure,  and Stroke.

Photos: Nicholas Knight, 2022