Color and imagery transform space. 

From urban streets to hospital hallways,

artists can use a real-world canvas

to bring fresh energy to sometimes surprising settings.  Inspired by examples near and far,

the Building Blocks pieces explore

this ability of art to revitalize, heal and,

as emphasized by Mural Arts Philadelphia,

“ignite change.”

Underfoot in Barcelona

is a mosaic of pattern, color, and texture 

that makes the city unique.  

Below my steps, 

I found graceful pavers

and Miró

and a welcome.

Building Blocks, sold

Seen on the Street, Barcelona,  8 x 8", $80

Sampler, Into the Pool--Summer, 5 x 5", $65

Building Blocks Series

Isaiah Zagar has been creating mosaic murals

on Philadelphia’s South Street since 1994,

when he began working in his neighborhood’s vacant lots.

This piece was inspired by Zagar’s nonprofit

community art center and environment,

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. 

The preserved site bridges street and sky

with an expanse of unexpected objects,

immersing visitors in a reflective and absorbing world of “visual anecdotes” layered with tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, and mirrors. 

Copyright © Caroline Bouton. All rights reserved.

A Friend Like You, sold

Sampler, Colors of BCN,  sold

Caroline Bouton Designs

Compassion Today, 5 x 5", $70

City of Choice, 5 x 5," $75

In the early 2000s, Edi Rama, the mayor of  Tirana, Albania,

began an effort to paint a swath of the city’s war-damaged apartment buildings

in vibrant color.  With energetic blocks--

what Roberta Smith of The New York Times called

“Mondrian in action, proof positive of the transformative power of color”--

the facades took on a new life-sustaining force. 

According to Rama, “the ambition to make this city a city of choice

and not of destiny is a utopia in itself.” 

Artist Anri Sala documented the vibrant patchwork in his 2003 video, “Gammi i Colori” (“Give Me the Colors”).

I became interested in the creative use of artwork in healthcare settings while volunteering at

the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

with my therapy dog, Valley. 

Researching the decor of international

medical facilities for children,

I discovered a vibrant world of natural forms--particularly of animals. 

Used to encourage child-friendly spaces,

these representations alleviate stress

by easing way-finding, creating entertainment, and adding a sense of wonder

to a difficult environment. 

The inspiration for this piece comes from children’s hospitals all around the world.