Designed with help from graduate students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the mural is a tribute to the hospital’s four employees who were lost during the pandemic, says at Forest Hills Hospital.
“This represents everything that we went through, the support that we received from the community,” said Merav deGuzman, director of Patient and Customer Experience. “How every person in this building was instrumental in getting us through this pandemic and how we continue to work together.”
Team members and hospital staff assisted in painting the mural, adding their own personal touches.
“We need art to heal us,” said deGuzman. “I hope that everybody who looks at this mural finds a piece of themselves in it. We tried to represent so many feelings, emotions and things that happened throughout that year.”
FIT graduate students Nikki Sciosia and Jenise Eckwell drew inspiration for the design from experiences shared with them by staff and doctors.
“It was extremely humbling to hear and see how much everybody’s self was poured into the effort to keep people alive,” said Eckwell. “The hospital staffers talked about all the things that they appreciated about the community, like donating flowers and food. We incorporated symbols of a lot of that into the mural.”
The nearly 12-foot high illustration began as a pencil drawing. Sciosia guided hospital workers with adding some of the finishing touches.
“It was so humbling to hear how hard they were working,” said Sciosia. “It really gave me perspective that I hadn’t previously had to feel what they were feeling. That was so eye opening, and to translate that to a visual image encapsulated that intensity and immense resilience.”