Arts in Medicine


Over 100 patients contributed to the making of the Voyage mural, a 40-foot long, 15-foot high digital print mural. Voyage was created in a similar process to the Light, Hope, Wonder mural. The artistically created boats represent not only the courage required by patients and families while participating in cancer treatment, but also the resilient and buoyant nature of the creative spirit, even, and perhaps especially during times of crisis. The mural is part of an Arts in Medicine Exhibition showcasing all of the program's completed projects at the Health Museum in Houston through September 2013.

Light, Hope, Wonder Mural

Light, Hope, Wonder is a larger-than-life, digitally printed mural of 25 running horses created to cover a large construction wall outside MD Anderson's main entrance. It was designed by more than 75 pediatric patients and siblings through the Arts in Medicine Program merging traditional artwork with digital art. Program director Ian Cion digitally archived paintings and drawings created by young patients at the hospital and worked with them using his specially designed digital art cart to transform their creations into coats of colors for the horses.

VIDEO: Light, Hope, Wonder Unveiled

Tree of Life

When more than 300 pairs of tiny hands come together to work on an art project, the result can be huge. The Tree of Life stands nearly 8 feet high and is made of a variety of media including multicolored beads, bark made from hand-colored paper and leaves cut from decorated material. Under the tree rests a garden of flowers, butterflies, birds and more, all created by pediatric patients at MD Anderson over the course of a year.

VIDEO: Tree of Life 

The Dream Horse Project

From drawing horses in a hospital room, one patient along with artist-in-residence Ian Cion, came up with a larger goal – to paint a canvas on her own horse

Maria Munoz worked patiently at the hospital after her stem cell transplant until she was cleared to see her idea come to life. Her horse was the perfect subject as both Maria and Ian transferred her floral canvas onto the horse's body. 

VIDEO: Dream Horse Project

Aidan's Elephant

After learning about the Dream Horse Project, one patient, Aidan Immroth, had his own idea. He had been working on painting elephants all summer with Ian Cion and wanted to see his masterpiece painted on an actual elephant. 

With the help of a hospital nurse and an elephant trainer outside of Houston, Aidan was able to see his wish fulfilled. Krissy the elephant was a star subject posing in positions so Aidan and his family could paint her. 

VIDEO: Aidan's Elephant


CollidescapesIn the summer of 2009, the Arts in Medicine Program's first project, Collidescapes, was completed with the help of more than 35 patients and families. Each element that was built for the city, from skyscrapers to the corner pet store, incorporated the talents, experiences and various cultures of the individual artists. 

Writers in the Schools and music therapists from MD Anderson also worked with patients to create poems and music to tell the story of the city that was built. It was the first, large-scale project for the program at MD Anderson and was a huge hit within the institution. 

VIDEO: Collidescapes