Wall\Therapy is a public art project conceived by Dr. Ian Wilson, a radiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in 2011. He recruited renown street artists from all over the world to come to Rochester and paint murals on unused wall space. By 2013, over 48 murals had been painted all over the City of Rochester. The greatest concentrations can be found in the South Wedge neighborhood and along the El Camino Trail.

In Their Own Words

While WALL\THERAPY heals cities through art, its sister initiative, IMPACT! (IMProving Access to Care by Teleradiology), does its healing by setting up diagnostic imaging sites in developing countries. The connection between art and the medical philanthropy is imagery. Street murals enhance life. Medical X-ray imagery preserves it. Both entities are housed under the Synthesis Collaborative, a 501(c)(3) public charity incorporated in New York State. The organization raises funds to set up teleradiology services within these developing communities and grow a network of volunteer radiologists around the world. These doctors use cloud computing to access images, interpret them and recommend treatment. As a result, afflictions that are commonly misdiagnosed, or missed entirely, are properly diagnosed, saving countless lives. Artists travel to these communities as well, improving life with inspirational murals.

The walls are our vehicle for inspiring and rehabilitating our community. We are intervening visually to address a fundamental collective need of our citizenry, the need for inspiration. In addition and quite literally, the walls on which our “therapists” will paint are being resurfaced and rehabilitated…given new life and energy.


One of the 2012 murals was a depiction of a near-grown bear cub sleeping on its mother's stomach. Done by Belgian artist ROA, this very large, prominent mural is located in the World Wide News parking lot in the St. Paul Quarter. It has been alleged, however, to better resemble to rats in a sexual position.

Write-in responses to the "Best Public Art" category in the initial ballot of City Newspaper's Best of Rochester 2012 included "2 bears having sex... that is what they are doing right?"; "69ing bears mural :)"; "69ing Rats"; "Copulating Rats"; "The fornicating bear mural by the Metro Center"; "Wall Therapy (except the rats fucking)"; "Def not the two rats 69ing."1


Photo Gallery

Sleeping Bears.JPGThe famous "Sleeping Bears" mural by ROA. Chick and Egg.JPG"Chick and Egg" by ROA, located by the Flint Street entrance to the Genesee River Trail (PLEX). HowNosm.JPGUntitled by HowNosm, on Pitkin Street in the Upper East End.
South Africa.JPG"Thank you Rochester from South Africa" by Visual Intervention - located on South Union Street near the Public Market. Rutherford.JPGUntitled by Sarah C. Rutherford, on the side of Natural Oasis Cafe. EVER.JPGUntitled by Icy and Sot, on the back of the Anderson Arts Building
Owl.JPG"Binho PEACE Owl" by Mike Ming - located at 89 Charlotte St (formerly the 1975 Gallery). Ever2.JPGUntitled by EVER, in the Neighborhood of the Arts Freddy Sam.JPGUntitled by Freddy Sam, on the back side of Everything Iz Good.
EveningStar.JPG"EveningStar" by Shawnee Hill, on the side of Fuego Coffee Roasters.

South Wedge

Mr.jpgUntitled by Mr. Prvt, on the side of S and M Mini Mart. Thieven.JPGUntitled by Thieven' Steven, on the side of Tap and Mallet. Adam Francey and Mike Ming.JPGUntitled by Adam Francey and Mike Ming, on the side of Personal FX.
Conor Harrington.JPGUntitled by Conor Harrington I, located on Hamilton Street by Historic Houseparts. Waltz.JPG"Andy and the Big Dead Waltz" by Caitlin Yarsky, located on Boulder Coffee Co..

See Also


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