Penn State Children’s Heart Clinic - CODAworx

Penn State Children’s Heart Clinic

Client: Penn State College of Medicine

Location: Harrisburg, PA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $55,200

Project Team


Laura Bender

Site Painters


Arcadia Trueheart

Site Painters

Public Art Agent

Claire de Boer

Penn State College of Medicine


A wetlands mural teaming with ducks, fish, birds, and amphibians installed around the reception desk greets visitors. The design was created using painted papers in a collage format which was scanned and printed on acrovyn panels. The adjacent waiting rooms have multi-panel paintings of whimsical interpretations of the local environment. Corridors were transformed into a nature trail experience, suggesting open-ended narratives using painted wood cut-outs of animals set in a stenciled environment of plants and flowers. Exam rooms feature panels depicting close-up designs of children at play in nature.


The clinic was scheduled for a remodel and the staff was very interested in making art an integral part of the revision. Site Painters proposed art for the three major locations that would most positively impact patients' visits to the clinic. These areas included the waiting room, exam rooms, and corridors. The theme of local flora and fauna was agreed upon and woven into all the installations.


Laura Bender was invited to visit the clinic to meet the staff and discuss and review the art possibilities. While there she led a workshop for staff and families to explore creative directions for the potential sites. A written proposal was followed by a visual presentation of design directions. After approval by the art committee, production began in Site Painters' studio. Designs for the reception desk were made and scanned, printed and delivered; waiting room paintings and hallway animal paintings were fabricated and shipped. Exam room designs were printed on aluminum panels and shipped. Laura returned to the clinic to supervise installation and complete work that was scheduled to be painted on site.