Clinical Sciences Pavilion: Where Art and Science Intersect

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When Abby Blevins and Isela Leal were invited to collaborate on a piece of artwork that would be placed in Cincinnati Children’s new Clinical Sciences Pavilion, it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

The Clinical Sciences Pavilion, to be unveiled this Friday, June 12, is a new 445,000-square-foot research tower that will house labs for clinical and translational research, collaborative work spaces, an open atrium for families participating in clinical trials, and professional offices.

Its 15 stories will be filled with artwork designed and inspired by artists from around the world as well as by our staff, patients and families, and community. The idea was to create an environment that will be a creative source of inspiration for our researchers and staff and comfort for our patients and families participating in clinical trials.

Abby and Isela participated in the creation of the “Because of You, I Can…” display, where professional artists created artwork inspired by patients’ personal stories. They wanted to show that there’s so much more to patients than their diseases.

Through a joint art session, Isela Leal, a local artist originally from Mexico, learned that Abby is a vibrant, 9-year-old girl who loves being outside and feels that she is able to run with horses “because of you,” or because of the research advancements and care she has received.

Born with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), Abby has been a patient at Cincinnati Children’s since she was seven months old, and has participated in a clinical trial for a drug that has ultimately helped her live a fairly normal life. “We feel very blessed, given that some children with TSC can’t walk or talk,” said Tammy Kouns, Abby’s mother. Tuberous sclerosis is a genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow on the brain and other organs. Some children with TSC can have seizures, developmental and intellectual delays, and autism. Now 9-years-old, Abby rides and runs with horses and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Tammy continues, “We participated in this art project because we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for everyone who walks into the Clinical Sciences Pavilion to see that because of research, Abby is more than her diagnosis. She has conquered tuberous sclerosis and has a beautiful, full life. I hope the painting serves as a source of inspiration to them.”

Abby’s and Isela’s painting (image above, courtesy of ArtWorks) will be displayed on the 13th floor and joins a collection of more than 600 research-themed pieces of artwork throughout the building. Here are the pieces accessible in patient areas:

  • Student Art: Floors 1 & 2
    Hundreds of local students were asked to visualize elements in nature that have interconnected relationships and need each other to thrive, reflecting the importance of clinical research.
  • Community-Created Art: Floors 1, 2, & 3
    Professional artists and more than 50 staff members collaborated in a series of workshops. Each artist expressed research in their own way and its relationship to our global world.
  • Heritage Wall: Floor 2
    A timeline captures the world-changing medical achievements that have shaped Cincinnati Children’s over the decades.
  • Photography: Floor 2
    Our patients in the Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, their families and a local photographer convey how elements of nature are interconnected.
  • Tears of Joy: Floor 2 Corridor Above Galleria
    Patients, their families, and a local glass-artist reveal the healing power of tears.
  • Sculptures: Exterior Grounds
    Works convey the collaboration, discovery and transformative nature of research.
Rachel Camper

About the Author: Rachel Camper

Rachel enjoys her role in social media because she not only gets to share inspirational stories and helpful information with other parents, but she learns all sorts of useful tips along the way! A mother of two highly energetic boys and an infant girl, Rachel enjoys cooking for her family, running with and after her lively kids, and (much needed) relaxing with yoga.

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