The MSK Welcome Wall Art Program is an annually commissioned mural in MSK’s 1275 York Avenue lobby. The program’s goal is to feature artists from diverse backgrounds to create greater points of connection and a sense of belonging amongst MSK’s diverse patient, visitor and staff populations. Artists are selected by a committee of MSK staff members and patient representatives, who meet with the artist to discuss their work and what being welcomed to MSK means to them.
Created by Colombian-American and NYC based artist Lina Puerta, El Jardin Amoroso / The Loving Garden examines the relationship between the natural and the human-made. For this work, Puerta looked towards ancestral knowledge, the handmade and themes of reciprocity.
Created to welcome MSK patients, visitors and staff, El Jardin Amoroso / The Loving Garden features a lush garden of medicinal plants native to North America, as well as birds, insects and flowers. Puerta has included imagery of the May Apple and Mountain Laurel, plants which are used in both herbal and Western medicines, along with two hands placed among the flowers. Through her assemblage, Puerta hopes to draw our attention to the fact that we not only contribute to the care of the natural world but also benefit and receive care from it. With color and craft, Puerta has created a vision of abundance to share with the MSK community.
“I see this tapestry of native medicinal plants welcoming and embracing the MSK community with healing, beauty, care and love. This work I hope reminds us where much of medicine comes from: plants and a healthy ecosystem that we, as humans, are part of. Thanks to the hands and wisdom of Native Americans who tended to these plants and connected to their spirit and intelligence, we are lucky to still have them today.
This work I hope encourages us to think about our role in ensuring the availability of these plants and the important physical and spiritual connections we must work to re-establish. This work also is an acknowledgement of the spirit and intelligence of plants to which we are inherently connected.”
- Lina Puerta
Lina Puerta is an NYC-based visual artist whose work draws from her identity and experience as a Colombian-American.
Using a wide range of materials including found and recycled objects, Puerta creates mixed media sculptures, installations, handmade-paper paintings, collages and wall hangings.
She holds an MS in Art Education from CUNY and has had solo exhibitions at the New York Botanical Garden, Hunter East Harlem Gallery and Sugarhill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling.
Her participation in group exhibitions include those at the Ford Foundation Gallery, Museum of Biblical Art, El Museo del Barrio, all in NYC, and El Museo de la Tertulia in Cali, Colombia.