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Press Releases

RxArt Announces Installation Project with the Keith Haring Foundation for NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem's Pediatric Emergency Department

Mar 20, 2019

Dr. Edward Chew, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, Chief of Emergency Services; Seona Bhagat, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Head Nurse, Emergency Services; Dr. Alexie Puran, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Eboné M. Carrington, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, CEO/COO; Sylvia White, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Deputy Executive Dir.; and Esther Flury, Project Manager, RxArt, Inc.
New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and RxArt, the nonprofit organization that commissions and produces contemporary art installations in pediatric hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America, are pleased to announce a project with the Keith Haring Foundation for NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem: The Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

A detailed and mesmerizing drawing by Keith Haring has been enlarged and reproduced as a wall decal for the main wall of the Pediatric Emergency Department waiting area. This environment is the first impression for incoming patients and their families, a space that needs to provide a positive distraction for them during what can often be a stressful situation. Haring’s cheerful, fun and comical imagery will offer a welcoming reception for patients as they wait to receive critical care.

“This RxArt collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation for NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is a milestone,” said Diane Brown, RxArt Founder and President. “It has been a goal of mine to work with NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and is thanks to the passionate advocacy of Dr. Alexie Puran that we were able to realize a collaboration with the hospital. Along with Dr. Puran and the staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, we are honored to partner with the Keith Haring Foundation to bring Keith’s iconic imagery to the hospital. He surely would have been proud to have his work installed for enjoyment by this deserving community.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, as an essential community hospital and a designated AIDS center, has remained at the ready to address and anticipate the health needs of our community. We have been active participants in developing research protocols and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS for almost three decades. We believe in the power of art in healing. This art installation in our Pediatric Emergency Department – where many of our patients enter the hospital – by the brilliant artist Keith Haring is a welcome addition to our institution’s world-renowned mural collection and a vibrant symbol of our ongoing commitment to this fight,” said Eboné M. Carrington, Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.

During his lifetime Keith Haring often created projects with and for children. He painted murals at community centers, schools, and hospitals worldwide. Notably, Haring completed a mural at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull in Brooklyn in 1986. That same year, the artist wrote in his journals, “There is nothing that makes me happier than making a child smile. The reason that the ‘baby’ has become my logo or signature is that it is the purest and most positive experience of human existence.” The Keith Haring Foundation is grateful to RxArt and NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem for this opportunity to share Haring’s work with his favorite audience and to allow him to continue to make children smile.

RxArt is grateful to Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, and the Magazzino Italian Art Foundation for the generous support of this RxArt project. Following the Haring installation, RxArt looks forward to working with NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem on extending the project throughout the entire Emergency Department with work by other significant contemporary artists.

“It is a privilege for Giorgio and I to support the Keith Haring project for NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem,” said Nancy Olnick. “My family has had a long history in the community, starting in 1958 when my father, Robert S. Olnick, was the first to provide luxury housing options for Harlem residents. It is in memory of his progressive vision that we hope that the power of art will ease the suffering of those in need of healing.”