As the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rochester approaches, the University of Rochester Medical Center has commissioned a community art project through WALL\THERAPY that celebrates the unwavering commitment to patient care and collaboration embodied by URMC’s staff.
“The WALL\THERAPY artwork paints a picture of how our teams have worked together to care for the community,” said Kathy Parrinello, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Strong Memorial Hospital. “This pandemic has been challenging for everyone, from our environmental services team to the department of surgery, the nursing staff to the hospital greeters and ambassadors. We have made it through these difficult times without sacrificing high quality patient care because we’ve all worked together.”
Two local WALL\THERAPY artists, Joanna Eberts and Jon Finlayson, worked with the URMC team to create a statement piece that would reflect very simply that we are all better when we work together. The neon-colored portraits and the unique lettering treatment create an eye-catching and inclusive piece of artwork that will shine brightly on the medical center. The ‘Better Together’ mural was installed this week on the south side of the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The five-foot-by-25-foot installation is visible to staff who enter the medical center from Crittenden Boulevard and will be on display for the public to enjoy as well.
“Our Medical Center staff have worked tirelessly for the past two years and deserve our thanks,” said URMC Chief Medical Officer Michael Apostolakos, M.D., F.C.C.P. “The WALL\THERAPY mural is one of the ways leadership can publicly acknowledge the hard work and team spirit of our people in a way that invites the entire community to share in our appreciation.”
WALL\THERAPY will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this year and the Rochester community can expect to see new projects on walls around town in the months to come. The organization was founded by Ian Wilson, M.D., a 1999 graduate of the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, as a way to give back to Rochester. The manifestation of that thank you became WALL\THERAPY, a community-level intervention using mural art as a vehicle to address our collective need for inspiration.
“We (WALL\THERAPY) were so honored to be approached to work with URMC to create a tribute to their health care workers. With our founder’s roots in healthcare, this project was close to our hearts, and offered us an opportunity to express our own gratitude to all of the health care workers who have endeavored tirelessly to keep us safe and care for us when we need it most,” said Erich S. Lehman, co-curator, lead organizer for WALL\THERAPY. “We were excited to bring together two regional artists, Joanna Eberts and Jon Finlayson, to create a dynamic, custom artwork for URMC that celebrates ALL of our frontline healthcare workers.”
WALL\THERAPY is an art and community intervention project, using public murals as a means to transform the urban landscape, inspire, and build community. WALL\THERAPY murals have transformed walls, buildings, and neighborhoods. This transformation has sparked inspiration in individuals and communities alike. The murals have become part of the local conversation, the local identity, and the fabric of the city. Local art classes and schools tour the murals as part of the curriculum. Local professionals change their route to the murals as part of their drive home. Local artists, young and old, find inspiration in the works. WALL\THERAPY mural project is now recognized worldwide. People from 2000+ cities in 104+ countries have visited the WALL\THERAPY site to learn more. New mural artists from around the world ask about painting Rochester, for the first time or for another time. For more information, visit www.wall-therapy.com.
About the University of Rochester Medical Center
One of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, URMC – comprised of Strong Memorial Hospital, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and its faculty practice (University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group), and the University of Rochester School of Nursing – forms the centerpiece of the University of Rochester’s health research, teaching and patient care missions. Under the UR Medicine clinical brand, URMC serves as upstate New York’s premier health care delivery network, anchored by Strong Memorial, an 886-bed, University-owned teaching hospital designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Level One Regional Trauma and Burn Center and home to Western New York’s only cardiac transplant program. With more than 26,000 part- and full-time employees, the Medical Center is the largest single component of the Rochester region’s leading employer.