WALLTHERAPY murals have transformed walls, buildings, and neighborhoods. This transformation has sparked inspiration in individuals and communities alike. The murals have become part of the local conversation, the local identity, and the fabric of the city. Local art classes and schools tour the murals as part of the curriculum. Local professionals change their route to the murals part of their drive home. Local artists, young and old, find inspiration in the works.
ALLTHERAPY mural project is now recognized worldwide. People from 2000+ cities in 104+ countries have visited the WALLTHERAPY site to learn more. New mural artists from around the world ask about painting Rochester, for the first time or for another time.
Dr. Ian Wilson wanted to give back to Rochester, the city that has given him so much. In 2012, the manifestation of that thank you became WALLTHERAPY, a community level intervention using mural art as a vehicle to address our collective need for inspiration. During this week-long festival, 11 street artists (“therapists”) from across the globe painted (“rehabilitated”) 16 walls, healing the city with new life and energy. The intervention beautified our urban landscape, ignited a community dialogue and inspired Rochesterians to view the Image City, a moniker originally attributed to Kodak, in a proud, new way.
While WALLTHERAPY heals cities through art, its sister initiative, IMPACT! (IMProving Access to Care by Teleradiology), does its healing by setting up diagnostic imaging sites in developing countries. The connection between art and the medical philanthropy is imagery. Street murals enhance life. Medical X-ray imagery preserves it. Both entities are housed under the Synthesis Collaborative, a 501(c)(3) public charity incorporated in New York State. The organization raises funds to set up teleradiology services within these developing communities and grow a network of volunteer radiologists around the world. These doctors use cloud computing to access images, interpret them and recommend treatment. As a result, afflictions that are commonly misdiagnosed, or missed entirely, are properly diagnosed, saving countless lives. Artists travel to these communities as well, improving life with inspirational murals.
The walls are our vehicle for inspiring and rehabilitating our community. We are intervening visually to address a fundamental collective need of our citizenry, the need for inspiration. In addition and quite literally, the walls on which our “therapists” will paint are being resurfaced and rehabilitated…given new life and energy.
Our inaugural project, which took place during July 2011, was entitled “Visual Intervention.” In 2012, the project was renamed WALLTHERAPY, and the rest, as they say, is history.