April 11, 2017
The waiting room in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry is more colorful and fun with new artwork on the walls. The art offers kid-friendly renditions of a bunny, dog, kitty, koala, monkey, penguin, polar bear, pup, and two cats.
“When I lectured at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, a few years back, I was stunned by the beautiful art they had all around their brand new facility,” said Department Head Dr. Marcio da Fonseca.
Printed on acrylic and glass, the art “was simple, pleasant, and professionally done, and anyone visiting or working in the hospital—children, families, and staff—could equally appreciate it,” he added. “The art made the environment feel very welcoming and different from a traditional hospital. I knew it was something I’d like to have.” A representative of the company providing furniture for the department’s waiting room connected Dr. da Fonseca with Liza and Alekos Grigoropoulos, who own Grigoropoulos Fine Art Consulting Ltd. in Elk Grove Village, IL. “I met with Liza to discuss the project and she started sending me samples of art that could be printed on acrylic,” Dr. da Fonseca explained. “We first worked on the Nickelsen graduate clinic walls, and now we’ve been able to do the reception area.”
The pictures, by artist Jill Connor, are “simple, sweet, colorful, and pleasing to the eyes, and can be easily enjoyed by both children and adults alike,” Dr. da Fonseca added. “They are the focal point of the reception area, and help to make the place feel very soothing.” And tidy as well. “I don’t believe we need to have an environment clogged with toys, pictures, and very bright colors everywhere; that can be overstimulating, messy, and unpleasant,” Dr. da Fonseca said, noting that the acrylic art is easy to keep clean and hygienic.
A committee composed of residents, dental assistants, and Dr. da Fonseca chose the pictures. Purchase of the art was funded by a gift from UIC’s Division of Specialized Care for Children that the department received to create a space for children while they wait for their appointments. “Besides the art, we were able to acquire child-size tables and chairs and a fun bookshelf, which we stuff with books that children can take home if they wish,” Dr. da Fonseca explained. The books are part of the department’s literacy program to encourage children to read and are provided to the College free of charge by Burnie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff, IL.
Thanks to the following for their gracious support: