Client: University Hospitals
Location: Cleveland, OH, United States
Completion date: 2014
“What Lies Behind the Façade” is a 52 x 52 inch digital print on canvas (edition number 2 of 3) that resides at the entrance to the Cystic Fibrosis Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.
The entrance to the clinic had an alcove with a water fountain. It was, simply put, drab and depressingly unappealing. The goal was to make this space special, as patients, family, friends, doctors, nurses and supporting staff entered into the center where the serious business of caring for children with Cystic Fibrosis are treated. Children with Cystic Fibrosis can spend upwards of 200 days a year at the center to treat lung infections. This means daily visits by family and friends and by beautifying this space would set a tone of positive healing energy. What’s remarkable about all of this is the story behind it as you continue to read below.
The artwork was a donation as part of a larger gift through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Zoe, a teenage patient, who had been treated at the center since she was a baby, made a wish for the center to be renovated to enhance her fellow patient’s lives while being treated there. She expressed her ideas for the renovation to the design team and would become an active member in the design of the renovation. She envisioned a colorful engaging artwork to be located at the entrance to the center to greet patients, their families and visitors. I was approached by Tom Huck, Art Curator at University Hospitals, to supply images of my artwork that he wanted to include along with other artworks by other artists for a presentation he would make for Zoe to make the selection. Her mother told me at the ribbon cutting ceremony, that during the presentation, when she saw the artwork titled “What Lies Behind The Façade”, she was immediately drawn to its vibrancy and energy, deciding that would be the artwork. When she heard of my story behind the art, “It was the icing on the cake” Zoe’s mother said.
In the work ‘What Lies Behind The Facade’, rectilinear fragmented shapes of color obscures a pattern of circles. The gaps left over between the shapes remove more of the circles, further obscuring the whole of them. This construct is a metaphor. The gaps reflect that the disabled are often looked at as not whole and what is seen, is the disability and not the person. But we know that we are just as whole as anyone and when anyone gets to know us, through our strength and perseverance, they will see all of us with all the colors filled in.