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University Medical Center – Rizk Hospital gets artistic makeover

200 new paintings now decorate the hospital thanks to a collaborative effort involving LAU students and Jordanian artist Khaldoun Daoud.

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LAU fine arts and architecture students paint in the garden of the University Medical Center – Rizk Hospital.

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Dr. Elie Badr (left), LAU assistant provost for Academic Programs and School of Architecture and Design acting dean, with Jordanian artist Khaldoun Daoud, under the supervision of whom 200 paintings were prepared to decorate the hospital.

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Daoud led a series of workshops on speed painting from September 15–24 for the LAU students taking part in the project.

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LAU architecture student Hamzah Rida (in the foreground) with his classmates.

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Rawan Karkouti, an LAU interior architecture student, with Loay, one of Daoud's three sons who came along for the workshops.

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Fadi, another of Daoud's sons, sketches for a patient.

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Students with other project contributors on the sixth floor of UMC – RH where the workshops took place.

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Paintings on display in the garden area.

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Paintings were hung throughout the hospital's corridors, rooms and offices.

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A ceremony the night of September 25 marked the project's end.

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Paintings on display in the hospital's garden during the closing exhibition.

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At the closing ceremony, Badr thanked the contributors for a job well done.

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Balsam Aoun, after whom the project was named, speaks at the closing ceremony.

Click on any photo above to view all 13 images.

A new allure at the University Medical Center - Rizk Hospital in Ashrafieh is helping bring a positive spirit to patients and visitors.

Last week, 200 freshly painted canvases were hung throughout the hospital’s corridors, patient rooms and offices. The paintings were made using bright colors and creative designs to transform the sterile, bland hospital into an attractive, healing space for all.

“We believe the hospital is not just a place to remedy people. It’s also a place where the community can contribute socially, academically, artistically,” says Dr. Elie Badr, LAU assistant provost for Academic Programs and acting dean of the School of Architecture and Design, who was behind the idea of giving the hospital an artistic makeover with the help of LAU students in order to make it a more friendly space.

Led by this vision, Badr managed the project in close cooperation with Jordanian artist Khaldoun Daoud from the Rowaq Al-Balqa Gallery, in Jordan.

The paintings were all done by 10 LAU students, and a number of patients, staff members, nurses and other contributors, under Daoud’s supervision, within a time frame of just 10 days.

From September 15-24, Daoud led daylong workshops in the hospital for the team of fine arts and architecture students, teaching them the technique of speed painting to finish the enormous load of paintings in a short time frame while keeping quality in mind.

“Everything is perfect,” Daoud says, referring to the completed works.

Daoud brought his artistically talented family, including his sister Suha, and his three sons Fadi, Shadi and Loay to assist. The family spent a total of three weeks on the ambitious project including preparation and logistics, accepting no money for their time and efforts.

“The paintings are really meant to ease the patients,” says Layal Merhi, a third-year architecture student who contributed to the project.

“You feel like you’re giving back, like you’re doing something meaningful,” she adds.

During an exhibition and closing ceremony held at the hospital on September 25, around 200 people gathered to admire the showcased works. The ceremony was also an occasion for the students and others involved in the project to give speeches and describe their experiences.

The project, dubbed the “Balsam Workshop,” was named after Balsam Aoun, a young AUB student who spent three days at UMC - RH in June for a foot operation where Daoud, a close family friend, visited her.

“It was an honor to have the project named after me,” Aoun says.

“I know what a painting can do,” Aoun, herself a painter, adds. “You look at the painting and forget about everything else.”


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