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New Murals Unveiled on Fencing Outside of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

Artists developed the murals in collaboration with residents from the nearby East River Houses

ArtBridge transforms construction fencing and scaffolding in New York City with new art developed by artists

May 13, 2024

Part of The Peoples’ Art Project by artist JR outside of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

NYC Health + Hospitals and ArtBridge today announced two new murals on the scaffolding of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in East Harlem. The works were developed by artists Dario Mohr and JR in collaboration with residents from the nearby East River Houses over a series of workshops and community engagement events. Dario Mohr’s work, Adinkrahene, is tied together through Adinkra symbols originating from the Asante Kingdom. East River Houses residents contributed their own Adrinkra symbols to this mural, which also features elements of works by Knii Shippie Afotey of Ghana and Faith Omole of Nigeria. The second mural, The Peoples’ Art Project, is an exhibition based on input from the East River Houses community, created by renowned artist/activist JR as part of his well-known Inside Out Project, drawing on global participation from 152 countries with nearly 600,000 photos contributed to date, intended to spark conversations and collaborations that lead to social change. The two murals are located on 2nd Avenue between 97th Street and 99th Street. Once the scaffolding is taken down, Metropolitan Hospital will host a permanent display of the works. ArtBridge transforms construction fencing and scaffolding in New York City with new art developed by artists. The project received support from the health system’s Arts in Medicine department. A video about the project is available here.

Adinkrahene by artist Dario Mohr.

“Dario Mohr’s depiction of East Harlem residents illustrates the diversity and creativity of this community,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine Larissa Trinder. “The final mural, by artist JR, pulls together Mohr’s concept paying tribute to the people that breathe life into the East River Houses. Placing artwork on scaffolding that reimagines community and shared experience fosters connection and belonging. We are delighted to work with ArtBridge on this inspiring project.”

“This project is very exciting for us at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan,” said Cristina Contreras, LMSW, MPA, FABC, Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “This mural is a great way to help us to beautify our campus, which is currently under construction. I really love that this mural was done in collaboration with the residents in the East River Houses, many of whom receive their care at Metropolitan. I think that it’s important for these residents, who are part of the fabric of this community, to see themselves reflected in this mural.”

The Peoples’ Art Project by artist JR outside of NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

The installation was made possible by the Department of Cultural Affairs’ City Canvas program, which transforms sidewalks sheds, construction fencing, and scaffolding into platforms for public art. 

“This extraordinary new City Canvas installation shows us the power we can tap into when we give artists and community members space to collaborate,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “The new installations from ArtBridge and NYC Health + Hospitals by artists JR and Dario Mohr are extraordinary testaments to art’s unique ability to bring communities together and reveal our innermost selves to the wider world. Congratulations to everyone involved – I encourage all New Yorkers to go check it out in person!”  

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with ArtBridge to connect NYCHA’s artistic community to canvasses in unexpected places around New York City,” said NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “I’d like to extend my congratulations to the residents of East River Houses for their contributions to these wonderful new pieces in East Harlem. Their collaboration served as an invaluable inspiration for these unique murals that will do so much to visually enrich their neighborhood.”

“ArtBridge is delighted to partner with Arts in Medicine to present this exhibition featuring the work of two seminal artists, drawing direct inspiration from the residents at East River Houses located nearby,” said Jon Souza, Program Director at ArtBridge. Our hope is that patients and passersby will see themselves reflected in JR’s portraits of their neighbors and in Dario Mohr’s spirited rendition of pan-African symbols to convey unity and optimism.”

“The mural was originally inspired by my ancestry research beginning with a trip I took to Grenada,” said Artist Dario Mohr. “I really hope this resonates with the community in terms of the Black experience being beyond words, and I hope this piece makes us feel safe and connected to each other.” 

Dario Mohr is the Founder and Director of Ankhlave Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization that presents BIPOC artists in public spaces. A first-generation Grenadian US citizen, Mohr is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and non-profit leader. His work involves the creation of “sacred spaces” referencing his heritage, and expressing commentary on the cultural zeitgeist through immersive sanctuary experiences. 

Artist JR has the largest art gallery in the world. Thanks to his photographic collage technique, he exhibits his work free of charge on the walls of the whole world – attracting the attention of those who do not usually go to museums. In 2011 he received the Ted Prize, giving him the opportunity to make a vow to change the world. He created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people from around the world to receive a print of their portrait and then billboard it as support for an idea, a project, an action and share that experience.




About NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine Department
The Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals seeks to foster the emotional well-being and promote healing and wellness for all patients and their families, employees, and the greater community by utilizing the arts, including literary, visual, and performing arts throughout the health care system. In addition to managing the system’s significant visual arts collection, the Arts in Medicine department encourages evidenced based practices and provides technical assistance to all of the system’s health care facilities and clinics. This is accomplished by combining artistic innovation and education into a comprehensive health care continuum that supports the healing benefits of the arts. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/artsinmedicine/.

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is the community hospital of choice for residents of East Harlem, northern Manhattan and neighboring communities. The hospital provides culturally-sensitive care in a welcoming and hospitable setting, emphasizing primary care medicine and utilizing the latest advances in medical science. It is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country. For more information, please visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/metropolitan and follow us on facebook.com/MetropolitanHosp.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About ArtBridge
ArtBridge empowers local artists to transform construction fencing into canvases for art. We seek to place artists at the center of public life, while prioritizing exhibitions that amplify the voices, cultures, and histories of local communities. We partner with site owners, and have a robust program at public housing developments. Since 2009, we’ve installed exhibitions at dozens of construction sites in all 5 boroughs of New York City, and supported programming in Italy and South Africa. ArtBridge’s exhibitions have provided unprecedented exposure for hundreds of artists, and have covered more than 60,000 square feet of public space. Learn more at art-bridge.org.