Falling slivers of rainbow-colored and metallic confetti swirl across the walls and ceiling of the 2,500 square foot Activity Center at St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children in Bayside, NY. The new hand painted installation is a recent collaboration between the RxArt organization and painter Dan Colen. RxArt is a nonprofit that works with contemporary artist to produce dazzling installations within the walls of pediatric hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. For this particular installation, Colen and his team covered the walls of St. Mary's in an explosion of fluorescent hand-painted streamers, frozen in time and suspended in mid-air.
Colen's abstract depictions of tumbling mylar paper manifest as painterly and expressive shapes that have been meticulously strewn across the Activity's Center. In a statement released about the project, Colen says the installation is about both the joy and fragility of life: "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." This belief in the power of visual art is a sentiment at the core of RxArt's philosophy; and it's part of what makes this collaboration five years in the making so great. Dr. Eddie Simpser, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children, says, "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."