A community-based mural by Renzo Ortega, the first in NYC Health + Hospitals/Belvis Health Center’s 25-year history, was unveiled to the public on June 8.
It is part of a community mural-making project to provide comfort and reduce stress for medical workers, communities and patients and to provide a space for emotional healing. The murals build upon a long tradition of murals at NYC hospitals dating back to the 1930’s.
The project was made possible through the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
“The mural mutual support celebrates the connection created between healthcare workers, patients, and families,” Ortega said. “When a family member is ill, their homes and relatives become vulnerable. In these circumstances, healthcare workers play an essential role by providing the necessary support and care to generate confidence in communities so that they continue with their health and treatment process.
A mural is more than an image on the wall, it is part of the architectural structure and the dynamics generated in that space. Mutual Support facilitates the relationship between people and contributes to developing a safe space at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis.”
This unveiling is one of 10 in 2021 and continues the rollout of community murals at NYC Health + Hospital locations throughout New York’s five boroughs. At the end of the cycle there will be a total of 27 murals added to the hospital system, making this the largest public hospital mural project since the WPA program of public art in the 1930s.
Gotham staff, patients and surrounding community were deeply involved with the concept and creation of the mural. Online focus groups were held to determine themes within the mural, which reflects the multi-cultural aspects of the community. The staff, patients and community then came together at a socially distanced paint party to fabricate the mural.