A New View for Young Cedars-Sinai Patients

By Christina Elston



No one likes lying in a hospital bed, staring up at the ceiling. At Cedars-Sinai, kids now have a better view. The medical center commissioned the nonprofit RxArt (www.rxart.net) to redo the ceilings and walls of 16 pediatric rooms. L.A.-based artists Urs Fischer, Sam Falls and Laura Owens completed the work, which includes images of trees, birds, animals and clouds as well as abstract art. Pictured at top is 12-year-old patient Sarah Apple in a room with painted foliage by Falls. Below is a room featuring art by Fischer.  

Diane Brown, the founder and president of RxArt, said the idea came to her after a difficult stay in the hospital. To make it through a CAT scan she tried imagining a painting on the ceiling.  It worked to calm her fears and when the test was over her idea was born. 

The ceiling art, installed in the Cedars-Sinai pediatric rooms, is a first-ever for Rx Art. Fischer, Falls and Owens   are all Los Angeles based. The rooms include images of trees, birds and clouds as well as abstract art.  Fischer produced digital images using colorful brush strokes to camouflage the medical equipment in the room.

The bright colors and what looks like 3D animals on the ceiling help distract the patients. Falls brought nature into the rooms by creating a series of paintings using leaves on canvas and pigment and then printing them digitally His design uses falling leaves and calming colors to create an experience of both nature and color. Owens work is five separate designs. 

Jennifer Underhill, assistant nurse manager in pediatrics, says the little kids love the new rooms. “They and enjoying the fun and comfort the art brings them,” says Underhill. “Since the installation of the artwork we’ve had little patients actually ask to enter their hospital room!” 

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