Queens Hospital hosts community mural paint party featuring neighborhood artist

Paint Party at Queens Hospital_08_02_2023_21
Participants engage in a community mural paint party at Queens Hospital in Jamaica on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
(Courtesy of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens)

Queens Hospital staff and members of the public participated in a community paint party for a mural that will be permanently installed at the hospital. 

The Queens Hospital mural was developed through focus groups with patients, staff and neighborhood residents.

The paint party took place in the main building atrium at Queens Hospital, located at 82-68 164th St. in Jamaica, on Aug. 2. Participants helped paint the mural by using a “paint-by-numbers” format, and no artistic experience was necessary. 

Local resident and Bangladeshi American artist Zeehan Wazed, who was chosen to design the mural, participated in the paint party with his parents who are longtime members of the community.

“I am extremely grateful to have been selected by NYC Health + Hospitals to design the mural project here at Queens Hospital, because it’s a place that is very dear to my heart,” Wazed said. “The mural is intended to be welcoming to patients as well as doctors and staff. It is meant to be considered a breath of fresh air, a source of comfort when entering the hospital.”

He further explained that “the mural we designed is more universal in nature, by using a variety of medicinal plants that are easy on the eyes.” 

Local artist Zeehan Wazed joins his parents in painting the mural.(Courtesy of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens)

Wazed is a New York City-based artist who creates painting, sculpture, choreography and creative new media. Wazed is inspired by graffiti and dance and is the first augmented reality artist selected for the NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Mural Project, an artistic initiative intended for staff, patients and community members to relieve stress and enhance the physical environment of Health and Hospitals facilities. 

“The community mural project is an endeavor that is positive and enlightening for our staff and patient family, and is designed to promote a sense of healing and calm upon entering the hospital,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Chief Executive Officer Neil J. Moore, MBA, MPA, FACHE. “We are excited and gratified that local artist Zeehan Wazed is lending his multifaceted talent to this project, and thrilled to learn that he has spent many years of his life in this very community. I am encouraged that today’s paint party will inspire joy and hope for all who participate, and for everyone who can appreciate the final result.”

Decades of research have shown that the arts can play a vital role in “healing the healers” as well as improving patient outcomes and forging community health awareness and partnerships. The Community Mural Project and several other programs in the Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals are made possible through a grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.