Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (“MSK”) has unveiled a mural commission by visual artist Sheena Rose as part of the hospital’s Welcome Wall Art Program. The work is entitled Thoughtfulness — Hope, Journey, and Peace.
“When I started the sketches, I started with pink, thinking of my own experiences in hospitals,” said Rose. “I knew working on this project would be a sensitive topic. I thought of the patients and knew that each is in different stages and processes of their discoveries and procedures. The mixed emotions of high and low of discovery and process…[are seen in] the colors and words that help build the mural.”
For this mural project, Rose worked with a variety of colors and forms. The work itself is a two-sided wall rendered in a partially transparent material. The mosaic of shapes and tones may evoke a range of sentiment. Rose was devoted to creating a moving piece of art. Throughout this process, the painter immersed herself in the MSK community, speaking with patients and staff. The resulting mural is a thoughtful and powerful monument.
Rose is a Barbados-based painter who is best known for her figurative acrylic-on-canvas works featuring vibrant color palettes and joyful, geometric compositions. Her latest series of works, which could be seen in the presentations Matchpoint and I Buy Myself Flowers with De Buck Gallery have featured sports scenes, landscapes, and scenes set in interior settings showcasing figures inspired by friends, travel or celebrated athletes.
The mural at MSK is among a number of noteworthy mural commissions Rose has created. Rose was the recipient of the 2020–2021 UNC Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Visual and Performing Arts for which she created a vibrant mural in the atrium of the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro. And in 2019, she designed a two-story mural at the Inter-American Development Bank Headquarters in D.C.
The artist shares more about her process in a video interview with MSK, which you can view here.