Artwork © Dan Colen. Photo by Christopher Burke Studio.

Dan Colen's RxArt installation at St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children, Bayside, New York.

To be unveiled early March 2017.

RxArt, the nonprofit organization that produces contemporary art installations with extraordinary artists in pediatric hospital and healthcare facilities, is pleased to announce their project with Dan Colen at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside, NY.

Taking inspiration from Colen’s series of Confetti paintings, his installation consists of vibrant, larger than life, hand-painted confetti, swirling across the walls and ceiling of the 2,500 square foot Activity Center at St. Mary’s. Colen’s Confetti series works exist both as Mylar confetti adhered to canvas and as trompe l’oeil oil paintings. To achieve this effect for the RxArt project, Colen’s design for the space was brought to life by hand painting every falling piece of rainbow-colored and metallic confetti.

“The beauty of this project, five years in the making, was finding a group of people who all were committed to finding a balance and engaging in all aspects of the project and its challenges with equal weight. The artistic vision and the idea of how it could function within the hospital environment were considered daily. This piece, which depicts confetti frozen in mid-air is about both the joy and the fragility of life; and it has found the perfect home at St Mary’s where the children will have the opportunity to interact with it on a daily basis. Throughout the planning and execution of this project I was fortunate to work with people both in and out of the medical community, and art world who were committed to seeing this through, and who like me believe art can play a role in healing. I feel lucky and grateful to have a work of mine in such a special environment,” said Dan Colen.

The Children’s Activity Center at St. Mary’s Hospital is the largest and most actively used space on this extraordinary medical campus, serving up to 300 patients, both inpatient and outpatient, on a weekly basis. The multipurpose space is used for indoor recreation all year around, school programs, art classes, talent shows, costume parties and special events such as graduation and musical performances. Colen’s artwork will activate the entire space, bringing joy and inspiration to the patients as they spend time there.

Dr. Eddie Simpser, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children said, “At St. Mary’s, we believe that the arts are essential to promoting health and well-being in children. Children with special needs can encounter artistic expression to free their imaginations from the constraints imposed by physical limitations, thereby improving their quality of life. We are so pleased to be partnering with RxArt on this wonderful project.”

The Colen installation at St. Mary’s has proven to be RxArt’s most ambitious project, in both size and scope, in the history of the organization. Diane Brown, RxArt Founder and President, and Colen began conversations about this commission five years ago. RxArt is grateful to Colen for his creative vision and commitment to this project and thrilled to see his installation transform the Activity Center.

“We could not be more proud or happy to be working at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children with Dan Colen. This project has been a labor of love by everyone involved. We are thrilled to be able to brighten the recreation room for the wonderful kids of St. Mary’s,” said RxArt Founder and President, Diane Brown.


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