Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s Incredible Art Collection

Posted by Holly Whitfield | August 19th 2010 721 0

In a place where so many people need comfort of distraction, so many hospitals completely miss the mark. They’re dull and beige and bureaucratic, and they’ve got that weird smell. Hospital decor can’t generally be classified as uplifting, much less inspiring.

But most hospitals aren’t Le Bonheur.

"I Can Fly" by Jeanne Seagle and Lea Holland

"I Can Fly" by Jeanne Seagle and Lea Holland

The brand new Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital building includes more than 400 pieces of original art by regional artists. About 250 of the works were done by area students.

The multi-media works aren’t just in the lobby – they’re scattered throughout the 610,000 square foot hospital in hallways, on walls, in the floor and on ceiling tiles.

Many of the works are interactive, providing distraction for the hospital’s young patients. There’s a giant, I-SPY inspired mural (with a list of things to find) in the corner of a waiting room, large landscapes made of crayons and a wall lined with tubes where patients, family and visitors can place sheets of paper with their hopes and prayers.

Hopes and Prayers Wall, LeBonheur Children's Hospital

Hopes and Prayers Wall, LeBonheur Children's Hospital

My favorite piece is Yvonne Bobo’s bright, fantastical all-metal garden, “Where the Wind Plays”. Most of the pieces are kinetic, moving when the wind blows hard enough. It’s sustainable, too – a few of the flowers double as small wind turbines that charge batteries that power the lights.

If you’d like to view Le Bonheur’s amazing collection, it will be available for public viewing on Thursday, August 26th. The event is a fundraiser for the hospital, and tickets are $60. If you can’t make it to the event, you can still see the collection online.


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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