In a vibrant celebration of art and healing, NYC Health + Hospitals introduced its latest masterpiece, “Roots of Medicine,” as part of the groundbreaking Community Mural Project. Renowned artist Zeehan Wazed orchestrated the creation of this captivating mural, which not only beautifies the hospital but also serves as a testament to the diverse roots of medicine.
This mural, wrapping around the main atrium along the second floor of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, is one of nine unveiled this year, complementing the 26 murals from the project’s initial phase.
The project, believed to be the largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s, showcases the power of art in fostering collaboration among hospital staff, patients, and the local community.
“Roots of Medicine” is an immersive experience, depicting eight flowers used in homeopathic medicine. Lavender, chamomile, calendula, echinacea, flax seeds, rose petals, St. John’s Wort, and nasturtiums grace the mural, offering both aesthetic beauty and a wealth of knowledge about their medicinal properties.
The mural’s significance goes beyond aesthetics, contributing to the hospital’s mission of promoting well-being. NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Chief Executive Officer Neil J. Moore expressed excitement, noting the positive impact the mural will have on staff, patients, and visitors.
He emphasized the importance of Zeehan Wazed’s multifaceted talent and the mural’s potential to inspire joy and optimism.
Larissa Trinder, NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine, emphasized the evidence-based approach in creating the mural. She explained how the careful consideration of flora and fauna contributing to medicinal healing, combined with soothing colors, transforms the mural into a healthcare service with a positive impact on public health.
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s generous support made this program possible, according to Rick Luftglass, the fund’s executive director. He commended Zeehan Wazed’s mural as a powerful example of how the Arts in Medicine program enriches the lives of staff, patients, and the community.
For Zeehan Wazed, the project had personal resonance, as he shared his connection to Queens Hospital.
“When I broke my fingers, my dad brought me to the Queens Hospital ER – the same fingers I used to paint this mural today,” Wazed revealed.
His mural reflects the diversity of Queens Hospital, with flowers symbolizing the diversity within the community and intertwining vines representing the connections forged.
This Community Mural Project not only revitalizes the hospital environment but also addresses broader issues.
In a time of national healthcare worker burnout and mental health challenges exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the project provides a creative outlet, stress relief, and a visually inspiring atmosphere for all those connected to NYC Health + Hospitals.
The unveiling of “Roots of Medicine” marks a milestone in the intersection of art and healthcare, demonstrating that beauty and healing can coexist, fostering a sense of connection and well-being within the community.