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About Sickkids
About SickKids

February 5, 2014

SickKids artists add another dimension to Gilgan Centre

SickKids values creativity and encourages staff engagement – two cornerstones of a project that enlivens the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning.

In 2010 when the Family Campaign was launched among SickKids staff to raise funds for the new building, a fundraiser featured the art work of SickKids research staff. The event showed that SickKids is home to some fabulous artists, and it became the inspiration for an innovative and inexpensive approach to the decoration of the Gilgan Centre.

An art committee established under the leadership of Marisa DiCarlo-Ancic, Creative Director, Creative Services Studio, issued a call for submissions among all SickKids staff and received about 80 entries. Thirty-four have found a place on the walls of the new building.

The intention is to call for new entries annually and keep the artwork fresh and updated – by colleagues, for colleagues. The creators of the successful submissions are not compensated financially and do not receive a charitable tax receipt for their donation to SickKids.

"However, they will have their art displayed publicly in our wonderful new building and that counts for a lot,” says DiCarlo-Ancic.

“It has been exciting to see the interest among staff. Some of the works we received are paintings and conventional photography, other images were captured for scientific purposes from sources such as digital instrument displays, electron microscopes and MRI machines. Some are surprising, some delightful and some breathtakingly beautiful. I think the pieces that we have installed will be conversation starters, and who knows they may even lead to new collaborations among researchers.”

Most of the works by SickKids staff are displayed just outside the entrance of the boardrooms of the “neighbourhood” floors, starting on the fifth floor.

Map of the neighbourhoods.

Another three pieces have been displayed on the second floor, outside the auditorium on the Learning Concourse. They are Ghanian child on her mother’s back by Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, Chief, Global Child Health;  Blue mood by Dr. Simon Beggs, Research Associate in Neurosciences & Mental Health, and Sequence – Foursquare by Dr. Richard Wintle, Assistant Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics, Genetics & Genome Biology.

In addition, 17 art pieces by professional artists have been installed throughout the second and third floors. Some of these pieces were donated, some were commissioned and two were funded by individual donors.

Robert Teteruck, who is a photographer at SickKids, contributed Beacon – 36 views, 2013. He took pictures of the Gilgan Centre during the three years of construction, and the building captured his imagination because, as he says, it’s a powerful symbol that is visible throughout the community. So he created a piece, inspired by 36 views of Mt. Fuji by the 19th century Japanese artist, Hokusai, whom he studied in art school.

“I was honoured for the opportunity to create a piece for public display,” says Teteruck. “It’s a special feeling to be part of the new building in this way.”