Healing Artwork at LAC+USC Medical Center


We found ourselves spending the night at LAC+USC Medical Center so that the doctors can observe my son who suffered from an allergic reaction to a burger he had for lunch the day prior. It was a harrowing time for us as a family because we were unaware of my son’s food issues with sunflower seeds and were uncertain of his general health moving forward.


I did not leave his side until the morning after, when the hospital gave my son the go ahead to eat.


After returning from the hospital commissary downstairs to purchase myself some chorizo and eggs for breakfast, I noticed this beautiful mural painted on the Lobby walls of the Pediatric and Adolescent floor where we stayed the night prior. It was a beautiful mural that ultimately helped uplift our spirits when the Big Boy was finally discharged in the late afternoon.


My husband and daughter joined us mid-day, with an Emoji mylar balloon and my son’s own Barnsdall Art Studio totem pole creation, to further help lighten the mood.


The doctors finally gave the go ahead to discharge us because it seemed that my son was doing a lot better. While I made my calls to family and friends to update them on my son’s improved condition, I noticed this mural situated across from the Nurse’s Station.


However small or decorative they are to some, the presence of these colorful murals really do make a difference to those who see the magic art can create in what otherwise would have been walls of the typical healing color schemes of soft greens and neutral earth tones of hospitals around town.


I had to find out who was behind the placement of these wonderful murals. The information online referred only to the first mural I noticed, located on the Lobby entrance to the Pediatric and Adolescent floor. It is formally named “With A Little Help From My Friends,” and it was created by Shepard Fairey and dedicated to LAC+USC in 2011 through The Art of Elysian’s View program (more about this wonderful mural can be found here). Administered by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the goal of Shepard Fairey’s creation was to foster the notion that art can help speed the healing process of those who are admitted to the hospital.

Further digging unearthed this press release, wherein the LAC+USC Medical Center Art Council endeavors to accept art donations and monetary contributions to “enhance healing through art… Because we think it really makes a difference in improving the emotions of our patients.” The artwork apparently also helps the uplift the staff morale. “They’re not sick but it helps their spirits to be lifted, to be surrounded by art and beauty.”

Promoting the presence of art in hospitals certainly makes for a more positive, colorful and hopeful experience to parents such as myself who find themselves needing a break from the feelings of helpless. To those who facilitated in creating a more calming experience for those who enter LAC+USC Medical Center, thank you.


LAC+USC Medical Center
1200 N State Street
Los Angeles , CA 90033

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