In 2004, urban-art (graffiti) gallerist Hugo Martine and pediatrician Juan Tapia, MD teamed up to open ALL CITY, a one-of-a-kind graffiti art gallery pediatrician hybrid in New York City called Graffiti 207. Visuals and in-depth information on this is scarce but it’s too interesting to ignore so the e-sleuthing I’ve done will need to suffice. Nothing on the website appears to have been touched since 2009. From the mission statement, we can glean ALL CITY is/was a:
“Network of artists, designers and medical practitioners to create and run coordinated arts and health programs in New York City. Our new initiative, ALL CITY Health: Healing Communities through Art and Medicine, will fully integrate art into pediatric practice to empower children and families to live healthier lives. ALL CITY Health will provide coordinated arts and medical programs that address the social challenges confronting at-risk urban youth and their families.”
The two founders spearheaded a two million dollar project to turn an old ballroom into an art gallery/pediatric care facility on 207th Steet that both served the needs of its community and strove to playfully fit its overall aesthetic. While ALL CITY Health in it’s original format seems to be defunct, Dr. Tapia’s pediatric practice, Pediatrics 2000, is definitely thriving with two locations and ten medical staff. One of these locations is still the ALL CITY facility on 207th Street. The front window of the waiting room is an urban playground of sorts, and each interior room has its own theme. Artists were given freedom do to as they pleased, but were told their creations couldn’t be aggressive or scary, according to a 2004 New York Times article on the project. The facility was designed to:
“Challenge of the traditional medical clinic design model. The clinic and gallery space boast a bold color palette, implementing graffiti art to transform the building into a vibrant state-of-the-art medical facility and tri-level art gallery” all the while striving to ” democratize art and challenge common perceptions of art appreciation as an activity exclusive to the wealthy”
It’s such an incredible, unique project I wish that it was better documented online and that there was a bit more information about where the relatively large budget came from (and why ALL CITY no longer appears to be active). Nevertheless its pretty inspiring that these two teamed up to create such a special health space for a community.