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NYC Health + Hospitals Launches Artist in Residence Program

Five artists have been selected for yearlong residencies that will include weekly staff artmaking and regular artist exhibitions

Feb 08, 2024

Knitting at a recent staff workshop at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln

New York, NY — NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the launch of its Artist in Residence program run by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department in partnership with The Creative Center at University Settlement. Five artists have been selected for yearlong residencies that will include weekly staff artmaking and regular artist exhibitions. This builds upon The Creative Center’s evaluated and published long-running Hospital Artist-In-Residence Program that was brought to NYC Health + Hospitals over two decades ago. The current program will continue to include patients and expand to include hospital staff as well. The Creative Center supports the Arts in Medicine department with administrative support of the residency and artist selection. Each of the resident artists provide a wide range of instruction including painting, sketching, drawing, jewelry making, photography, creative writing, paper arts, fiber arts, natural fabric dying and botanical printing. The residency will provide staff and patients with tools to feel connected, be present in the moment, and reduce anxiety. A video about the program is available here. The Artist in Residence program is made possible with a grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

“The Artist-in-Residence Program is one of the most effective ways to embed the arts into the culture of the hospital system,” said Laurie Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “Expanding the programs to staff will increase wellness and resiliency and bring much needed comfort and care to those who are there every day working tirelessly on our behalf. We are proud to support this important program.”

“Research has shown that embedding artists in healthcare settings provides an additional outlet for patients, families and caregivers to decompress and find joy in their day,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Arts in Medicine Larissa Trinder. “The caliber and diversity of mediums offered by our talented teaching artists make these experiences accessible to all.” 

“As a former Hospital Artist-In-Residence who now coordinates the program, I’ve deeply understood and witnessed how the creative arts bring self-expression, connection to culture and identity outside of illness, and share moments of distraction, release, and inspiration,” said The Creative Center Programs & Partnerships Coordinator Liz Rubel. “Partnering with NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine to pilot a restructuring of The Creative Center’s 25-year program to be focused primarily on healthcare staff will support their teams to use the creative arts to enhance their daily environments (interior decoration and exhibits), to share positive coping and processing opportunities, encourage collaboration and team-building, expand upon artistic interests, and simply a setting to unwind with color and individuality!”

The following artists were selected for the first year of the Artist in Residency program:


Nikki Schiro (@nikki.schiro)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
Nikki Schiro is a native New York artist. Nikki was the Artist-in-Residence for Outpatient Oncology, Mt. Sinai West (formally Roosevelt) for twelve years, where she engaged patients and their families with Art during (often very long) chemotherapy treatments. She is the co-creator and director of OZANEAUX ArtSpace, a philanthropic, artist-run exhibition/project space established in 2009, with her partner, Frederic Ozaneaux. Here she has volunteered her personal time, knowledge and professional experience to empower underrepresented artists and curators in her community. Nikki Schiro is a certified and practicing Reiki master and a working actor. Her number one hobby is dancing Argentine Tango.

Wilhelmina Grant-Cooper (@sistaahstudio)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
Wilhelmina Grant-Cooper is a self-taught, Harlem-based visual artist, arts instructor, and author. Wilhelmina creates assemblages using mixed-media and found objects which she repurposes into visual art. Her artistic undertakings include long-term assignments as a Creative Center at University Settlement artist-in-residence wherein she used the arts to nurture the creativity of cancer patients, their families, and staff in a healthcare setting. She also guides elder participants through arts activities at senior centers in Washington Heights, the Upper West Side and Brooklyn. Wilhelmina is an avid gardener and lives with her husband in Harlem.        

Cibele Vieira (@cibelevieira_studio)
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
Cibele Vieira, a Brazilian artist, combines images, sculptures, and movement in her work, exploring social and political themes. She believes artists should share and educate the public about contemporary art while also recognizing the healing power of art. Her work aims to bridge the gap between art and society, emphasizing how art can bring people together, facilitate conversations about our diverse experiences, and serve as a tool for healing and self-expression.       


Livia Ihinosen Ohihoin (@liosadornments)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
Livia Ihinosen Ohihoin is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her multicultural upbringing and experiences fostered a curiosity for the world that has not stopped since. She explores and marries various mediums including movement art, jewelry, writing, and film. While her work is continuously evolving through new mediums and processes, a thematic thread of intimacy, connection, and movement can be traced through all of her work. As the founder and creator of Lio’s Adornments and as a queer immigrant woman of color, she is an advocate for fellow minority artists and business owners.


Carla Torres (@carlisimaultra)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
Carla Torres is a visual artist, who works across several media including drawing, painting, illustration, animation, and murals. Originally from Ecuador, she relocated to New York City in 2006, looking to expand her horizons and vision as an artist. Since then her work has been exhibited in several galleries locally and internationally including the Queens Museum and the Noguchi Museum. Her work has also been awarded by the most prestigious illustration awards in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Healthcare worker burnout is a national health crisis, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has created mental health challenges across New York City, especially in low-income, immigrant and underserved communities, which are significant patient populations for NYC Health + Hospitals. Decades of research have shown that the arts can play a role in “healing the healers,” as well as improving patient outcomes and forging community health awareness and partnerships.

NYC Health + Hospitals has a collection of more than 7,000 artworks, including historic murals commissioned through the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, paintings, mosaics, photographs, sculptures, installation art, and murals by both emerging and established professional artists. The collection includes works by some of America’s leading artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Helen Frankenthaler, Mary Frank, Betty Blayton, Candida Alvarez, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and Keith Haring. More than an art collection, these works create a healing environment, activate spaces, engage staff, promote visual acuity, and expand access to the arts for 43,000 employees and more than 1.2 million patients who receive care NYC Health + Hospitals facilities.



MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

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
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 the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that aims to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a multi-year initiative to support organizations utilizing the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding in communities across New York City. The initiative’s areas of focus are stigma, trauma and aging-related diseases as well as supporting organizations addressing mental health in communities disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019 the Illumination Fund supported the creation of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine department, expanding programs serving health care staff, patients, and communities in sites across the City. For more information, visit www.lmtif.org or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.

About The Creative Center
As one of the first arts-in-health organizations in the United States, The Creative Center at University Settlement has been designing, implementing, and sustaining art programming in a variety of healthcare and community settings since 1994. We believe that our deep understanding of arts and health brings intentional energy and a renewed appreciation of the human mind and body to the forefront of all of our residencies, events and workshops. To find out more about The Creative Center visit www.thecreativecenter.org and stay connected on Instagram and Facebook.