Utilizing the healing powers of art, a soon to be opened children's hospital in Buffalo, New York is integrating art throughout their twelve-story building. Scott Propeack, the volunteer curator on the project, is designing a space in which the visitors of the hospital will be able to experience the function of a hospital, but with some inspired, signature artworks decorating the walls.
In a recent interview with The Buffalo News, Propeack described that each of the twelve floors of Oishei Children's Hospital will feature a different theme, such as "Imagination", "Discovery", "City of Lights", and "Water". One floor in particular, the "City of Good Neighbors" is the connecting lobby to the Buffalo Niagra Medical Campus, which Propeack explained was a very intentional move as a curated space because of its sense of connect and community.
Upon establishing the project, Propeack is now working with over 30 artists and counting, all creating pieces for the wings of the hospital. Along with collectors, Propeack has curated a thoughtful selection for each space. He, however, does not hold the final say.
In an effort to actively consider the patient experience, Propeack established an arts committee made up of nurses, doctors, and parents, all who participate in the selection of the work. Mindful of what children want to see, what interests them, and what makes them happy, Propeack also has a kid's committee!
The art does not only cover the hallways, but the patient rooms. Artist Caitlin Krumm, famous for her "Trendy Buffalos", has offered to line the walls with buffalo illustrations depicted as all kinds of characters. An idea that the kids love and is a personification that is central to the identity of the city itself.
As an ongoing program, Propeack has raised the $1 million it cost to cover the purchases and production of the work through donations. However, he would like to establish a fund to continue the growth and evolution of the artwork. The enthusiasm, creativity, and involvement across the institution has made this project a unique example of public art that betters its community in unforeseen ways and hopefully will inspire future endeavors by other hospitals.