Client: Penn State Health Children's Heart Group Clinic
Location: Harrisburg, PA, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $55,200
Claire de Boer
Penn State College of Medicine
Acrylic on wood, custom-designed and printed on Acrovyn, and custom-designed and printed aluminum composite panels.
This art installation invites the vitality and diversity of regional ecosystems into and throughout the Children’s Heart Clinic. A sunny spring day in a lively wetlands scene greets families at the reception desk. Clusters of colorful paintings in the waiting room provide particular flora and fauna as focal points. The hallways are enlivened with playful scenes of the wild, holding many potential narratives. The exam rooms evoke the simple joys of friendship and making friends with nature.
The Heart Clinic was undergoing a remodel and needed artwork to match its new décor in a patient-centered environment. From the moment individuals walk into the clinic they are met with artwork that evokes a sense of wonder and curiosity. The Center Stage Arts in Health Department, that leads the commissioning process, is focused on matching art specific to the population who visits these spaces as well as those who spend each day working in the clinic. The goal was to enliven the common areas, hallways, and exam rooms in a cohesive manner. The installations in the hallways are used for artistic wayfinding to exam rooms and checkout counters. The playful nature of the exam room art’s goal is to delight and distract young patients. The entire installation pulls together a charming and colorful atmosphere.
The Public Art Committee - a team of facilities project managers, physicians, administration, development staff and Center Stage Arts in Health staff - introduced Artist Laura Bender to the nurse manager and leadership at the Heart Clinic. Laura met with staff including nurses, clinical staff and employees. She held a collage-making workshop in the clinic for young patients and the health care team. During this process, she shared how she creates her artwork and offered a hands on experience. Laura used these designs as inspiration for the large installation that would transform the space. She went home to her studio to create her designs that were enlarged and printed on Acrovyn. She then worked with the facilities department and Arts in Health staff to install the art. The space was transformed overnight during off-hours.
This art piece was created specifically for the space it occupies. The local flora and fauna provides comfort and familiarity to the young patients who visit the clinic. The art welcomes visitors when they arrive and carries through the hallways and exam room, enhancing the atmosphere and transforming the space.