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Children’s Hospital Central California - Paramount Farms Plaza expansion

October 2012
Member Project
Distinctive Art Source


Your firm’s role on the project: Art Consultant


Project vision/goals

The Children’s Hospital Art Committee knew from the start they wanted the art program created for their Paramount Farms Plaza expansion to illustrate the importance of the San Joaquin Valley, and the produce grown there, to the rest of the world in a manner that would excite and involve children and local artists in the creation of a highly polished art program.


Additional details

Art Solution: Develop a multimedia an art program featuring local artists works that visually illustrated “A Snowflake’s Travel’s” beginning in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains and continuing on to support life in the rivers as the water travels through the foothills into the San Joaquin Valley, where it nourished local crops enjoyed worldwide. DAS collaborated with The Rainforest Art Project to design a mosaic river wall in which a multitude of dimensional fish swam and jumped. Once designed, dimensional fish kits were created and sent to multiple Children’s Hospital summer camps for campers to design and complete. The children’s designs came to life as they covered each fish with the mosaic tiles of their choice. Once all fish were complete they were returned to the Rainforest artists for grouting and mounting in the river waves. To allow additional participation in this community art project, the background “wave” was taken to a local arts festival and attendees were able to help fill in the wave.

In addition to the community mosaic 130 additional pieces of metal, acrylic, oil on canvas, torn paper and original photography by local artists were combined to illustrate the beauty of the central valley and the important role both water and produce had to the area.

Role of the Donor: Paramount Farms employees were the major donors for the Paramount Farms Plaza. As a way to visually recognize this generous gift, pistachio and almond blossoms, orchards and fruit (Paramount Farms major crops and exports) are featured in various art mediums.

Role of Storytelling: Upon exiting the elevator, visitors can view the majestic Sierra Nevada’s through the windows of the 2nd floor. This is where they begin to learn of the snowflake’s travels. A graphic plaque introduces lobby visitors to the story of the snowflake and encourages them to continue following its travels throughout the wing. Dimensional acrylic snowflakes mark the locations of additional story plaques that continue telling the story of the snowflake turned water drop turned river as it travels to the San Joaquin Valley to nourish the multitude of crops grown in the Central Valley.

Viewer Participation: As the story unfolds viewers visit different eco systems and learn of their importance and inhabitants. Questions and directives are included on each story plaque to promote young viewer discussion and participation. As visitors reach the main hospital connection corridor on their way to the cafeteria they are treated to large collages featuring mouthwatering macro images of local fruits and vegetables along with visual reminders of life on the farm. The final story plaque reads: “Everything here is so delicious! We grow so much food, all because we get help from our snowflakes and the water they turn into! Grapes, oranges, peaches, nuts, tomatoes and other plants like cotton all come from our Valley. Farmers and ranchers use our water to grow things for people all over the world. The food we make is put on trucks, boats and trains and sold everywhere. Our food goes to other states and even other countries. Do you see your favorite fruit, vegetable or nut in the pictures? How many farm animals do you see? From the mountains to the rivers, into our fields and our grocery stores, our little snowflakes have gone everywhere! They are so little, but they are so important.”


Links to published articles on this project

Young Patient Discovers New Passion for Photography
Children’s Hospital Expansion Unveiled