NYHQ Comm. Art Garden Growing

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

While visiting a hospital can be a foreboding experience, New York Hospital Queens is using art to brighten up their patients’ days.

The hospital held a reception on Aug. 21 to celebrate the completion of the first phase of its Community Art Garden. Around 75 pieces of artwork line one wall in the radiology corridor, offering inspirational paintings for patients and employees to enjoy. Given its success with patients, NYHQ is starting phase two, giving more artists the chance to show their creativity.

During the reception, blank 12-inch-by-12-inch canvases were given out to all who wanted them, whether they were hospital workers or just people wandering in for other reasons. When finished, the pieces captured certain themes, including healing, compassion, health, wellness, diversity, community and Queens. The art has been a big hit with all who have seen it so far.

“Patients, employees, visitors, they’ve all been in awe. They’ve all stopped and commented,” Kerry McHale, public affairs and marketing coordinator at NYHQ, said. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Among the artists whose work is on display are Nicole Manfield, in-patient physical therapy supervisor, and Anita Liu-Chen, administrative director for rehab.

“The rehab department decided to do this as a team-building exercise. Half our department is new so it was a great way for us to get to know each other better,” Manfield said. “It’s wonderful that it’s now hanging up on the hallway, so a lot of patients and other employees stop by to look.”

“I actually did it with my three-year-old son at home. It was a lot of fun,” Liu-Chen said. “Patients love it. It’s uplifting, it’s inspirational, it gives them some positive feeling while coming to a hospital setting.”

Liu-Chen added that the department is thinking about having patients paint a canvas as part of their physical rehab sessions.

Anyone who wants a chance to paint can grab a canvas at the Department of Volunteer Services office, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The paintings and a signed release form must be submitted by Sept. 30. For more information, call (718) 670-1125 or visit www.nyhq.org/call-for-artists.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.