American Family Children’s Hospital Mural - CODAworx

American Family Children’s Hospital Mural

Submitted by Dennis Nechvatal

Client: American Family Children's Hospital, University of Wisconsin Hospitals

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2009

Project Team


Dennis Nechvatal


Sarah Grimes

UW Hospitals


“Echo” is located just off the main elevators for the 3rd Floor in the American Family Children's Hospital. The client was looking for child-friendly imagery in the theme of Lake Michigan. The work consists of 7 panels total, 5×2’ each, installed on curved wall.


The interior design scheme of the American Family Children's Hospital celebrates different areas in Wisconsin. This painting, installed on the 3rd floor, reflects the area's "Lake Michigan" theme. Additional areas in the hospital include: 1st floor "All things Wisconsin" (a small town Wisconsin theme); 2nd floor "Farms"; corridors with animal themes; 4th floor "Prairie"; and 5th floor "Northwoods." Additional areas include "Wisconsin Rivers" and "Wisconsin Parks."


The architectural firm HDR designed a curved wall off of the third floor elevators to contain a wallpaper mural that would be designed by an outside firm. Because the client prioritizes supporting Wisconsin artists, they looked for a local artist who could do the work. After meeting with the artist and getting some visuals on his work, the client presented the idea to the designers, who were very receptive to the idea. The art work was required to fit the curved wall, yet also be removable to accommodate potential future changes to the area. The solution presented is a series of framed narrow panels that make up the larger scene, with imagery that is appealing to kids as well as adults.