American Family Children's Hospital

Art and Music

UW Health facilities feature thousands of pieces of original artwork, most by local and regional artists.The arts are a sometimes underappreciated component of the patient experience. A lovely song or a beautiful picture can go a long way toward helping patients maintain a positive mindset, so UW Health places an emphasis on making artistic interludes available to our patients.


Art Galleries and Exhibitions


A number of UW Health patient care locations feature rotating art exhibits that contribute to the healing environment we want to provide for our patients and their friends and families.


Purchasing Artwork


Artwork on display may be purchased through the University Hospital Gift Shop or by contacting Mandy Kron at (608) 263-5992 or Monica Welke at (608)265-4098. Artists pay a 20 percent commission from sales and this money is used to purchase art for public and patient areas.


Donate to the Art Program


Please contact art coordinators Mandy Kron at or Monica Welke at To ensure we have the proper resources to care for and display our art, we must carefully consider all art donations.


Permanent Art Collection


The hospital has been collecting both donated and purchased art for more than 30 years. Our facilities feature thousands of pieces of original artwork, most by local and regional artists. Here a a few featured pieces.


"Flowers" by Richard Arfsten. Located in the University Hospital H3/1 outdoor seating patio. "Pope Farm" by Michael Knapstein. Located in the University Hospital entrance.


Rotating Art Exhibits


University Hospital, Hospital Entrance: The Hospital Entrance exhibit is located in the E5/2 module between the hospital main information desk and the pharmacy. The exhibit wall is on Main Street which is the major wayfinding path in the hospital.


Traditional Indian Paintings by Poonam Rao, May 2-June2

Poonam Rao is a self-taught local artist, practicing folk style of Indian artworks. The exhibit features Warli tribal art art, Mandala-style art and Indian-themed landscapes. Warli tribal paintings date back to 2500-3000 BCE as wall murals. They use rudimentary symbols made up of circles, squares, triangles and lines to represent human, animal and all life forms. The traditional form of this painting uses rice paste to decorate hut walls using a bamboo twig as a paint brush. Mandala paintings are concentric circles decorated using henna art motifs.



University Hospital display cases: Three display cases showcase three-dimensional artwork such as jewelry, ceramics and small sculptures. Two display cases are located in the C5/2 Surgical Waiting Area and one is located near the E5/2 Gift Shop – both on “Main Street."


Jewelry by Cathy Lawson, May 1-June 2

Cathy Lawson creates wearable art pieces that explore the color, texture and organic patterns with her beaded jewelry. Playing with beads and teaching jewelry class for more than 20 years still bring Cathy much joy that you can see in the pieces. She uses seed beads, gemstones and other elements in her bead weaving and bead embroidery. Each bead is sewn down or woven in with thread or wire. Her creations have won awards at the Madison Art Glass and Bead show for the past two years.



University Hospital, Surgical Waiting Area and D Elevator Lobby: The hospital’s largest art exhibit space covers walls throughout the C5/2 Surgical Waiting Area and D5/2 Elevator lobby. Several annual group shows take place in this area, including the Madison Art Guild, Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople, Artful Women, Madison Watercolor Society and PhotoMidwest.


14 South, April 29-June3

This exhibit of work by 14 South Artists members is primarily two-dimensional work like watercolor paintings and photography. At least one of our bead jewelry artists is also showing her work. The 14 South Artists group also includes artists with a wide variety of mediums, such as wood carving, metal sculptures, various jewelry techniques, glass and fiber work, and traditional painters and photographers.



University Hospital, Carbone Cancer Center Waiting Area: This exhibit area is located in the 1st floor waiting room of the Carbone Center.


LandEscapes by Colleen Darby: March 30-June 28

The inspiration for my "LandEscape" painting series came from an experience I had while working as an Artist in Residence on the oncology floor at Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. It was a sunny spring morning when I walked into a young patient’s room and said, “What a beautiful day it is outside.” The patient looked up at me from bed and said “It always looks the same from here.” That comment sparked an idea and started me on my mission to change medical environments and give every patient a room with a view. The series depict views of sunny landscapes. They include roads and paths to draw the viewer in, and the canvas is collaged with positive messages and words of encouragement.



Health Sciences Learning Center: Two exhibit spaces are located in the first floor atrium and second floor elevator lobby. Medical students and staff enjoy taking a much-needed break from their studies to view the artwork.


Paintings by Dan Neff, May4-30

"I started painting after college, and I am largely self-taught, and still learning. I often paint in a stream-of-consciousness manner that tends towards abstraction, patterning or dot painting. Other times, my work is more representational. Usually, it is expressive and colorful. I am motivated to paint because I enjoy the process and, of course, I hope to make work that other people connect with as a bonus." - Dan Neff



School of Nursing, Enroth Hall: Built in 2014, the new Signe Skott Cooper School of Nursing offers a beautiful exhibit space in Enroth Hall. Staff, visitors, and nursing students enjoy viewing the artwork.


Photography by Jennifer Dins, April 28-July 28

Jennifer Dins is a retired corporate manager and a life-long artist who is now exploring her world and mastering the art of what she calls "adventure" photography. A stage three cancer survivor of 11 years, Jennifer traded the 60-hour-work-week and corporate ladder for a camera and a backpack. Photography has always been a passion of hers, but a career focus got in the way. Now "benched' due to her cancer diagnosis, Jennifer's creative spirit is reborn, and she is back in a new game and living life. Her love of nature's textures, depth, sounds and beauty (regardless of the weather) shine in this exhibit.



UW Health at the American Center, American Bistro: Patients, staff, and visitors are able to view artwork while they visit the cafeteria and rooftop garden, located on the second floor.


Mark and Carol Pflughoeft, April 27-July 27

Mark and Carol Pflughoeft are artists from McFarland. An abstract painter for more than 45 years, Mark's newest series, Coalescence, features strong organic lines, tactile textures, and soft color blends combined with strong, hard-edged compositions. Carol creates unique digital images by layering her original photography with original fractal images created using Ultra Fractal software.


Arts in Health Care


The Arts in Health Care program has provided artistic opportunities to adult patients and families at the University Hospital since 2008.


About Arts in Health Care


A dedicated team of Arts in Health Care volunteers work closely with the program coordinator, Sarah Petto (MFA), to provide our adult patients and families with support during what can be a difficult time. We offer bedside art activities as well as art workshops for patients and caregivers.


The program offers a variety of art-making activities to our inpatients as they are diagnosed, recovering from a medical procedure, or during a treatment. Our goal is to offer comfort, relieve anxiety, provide some symptom relief, empower self-awareness and offer an outlet for emotional expression. Through this hands-on art-making, we are promoting wellness and adding to each patient’s coping skills during a hospital visit.


April 2017 Arts in Health Care Calendar (pdf)


Contact Arts in Health Care


For more information, please contact Sarah Petto at




Volunteer musicians perform in public areas of University Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital.To contribute to the healing environment we want to provide to all patients and families, volunteer musicians perform in public areas of University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital, as well as on inpatient units.


Volunteering to Play Music


Two baby grand pianos and an electronic keyboard are available for use. There are also opportunities for one-time performances by school choirs or string quartets. Volunteer musicians wishing to come in on a regular basis must give an informal audition and attend volunteer orientation.


Contact UW Health's Volunteer Music Program


Please contact Mandy Kron at with any questions about our music program.