Make-A-Wish Foundation: Zoe’s Wish for UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Center

Zoe & Andrew Reach - Make-A-WishZoe and I in front of my Artwork
‘What Lies Behind The Facade’
Zoe chose this artwork from artwork submitted by Tom Huck,
Curator of Art at University Hospitals

What Lies Behind The Facade

I was honored to go with my partner Bruce Baumwoll as guests to the ribbon cutting ceremony for renovations to the fifth floor of UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at Case Western University in Cleveland where the Cystic Fibrosis Center is located. For a little background, below is an excerpt from article on by Dave Arnold:

CLEVELAND – Zoe Watterson cut the red ribbon on the fifth floor of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Tuesday that commemorated the reopening of an area of relaxation and often creativity for young patients and their families situated between two nurse’s stations dedicated to treating cystic fibrosis patients. Zoe almost single-handedly was responsible for part of Rainbow’s fifth floor being renovated to enhance her fellow patient’s life while undergoing treatment. Given a wish by the national Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Zoe decided during one of her hospital stays that her surroundings were less than inspiring. (click here for full article)

Zoe has been in the care at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital since she was a baby. She’s now 18 and will be going to college next year. As part of her wish for the renovation, Zoe envisioned a work of art to be located in a feature wall that would greet patients and family at the entrance to the clinic. I was approached by Tom Huck, the curator of art at University Hospitals, to supply images of my artwork that he wanted to include along with other artworks by other artists for a presentation he would make for Zoe to make the selection. Her mother told us that during the presentation, when she saw the artwork titled ‘What Lies Behind The Facade’, she was immediately drawn to it and decided that would be the artwork. When she heard of my story behind the art, “It was the icing on the cake” Zoe’s mother said. It is a high compliment that she chose my art and I am so honored. I could think of no better place for this work to be displayed. I hope it will bring some light and joy to the children and young adults and their families in the years to come as they come for therapy and extended stays.

About the work “What Lies Behind The Facade”:

In the work ‘What Lies Behind The Facade’, rectilinear fragmented shapes of color obscures a pattern of circles. The gaps left over between the shapes remove more of the circles, further obscuring the whole of them. This construct is a metaphor. The gaps reflect that the disabled with disease are often looked at as somehow not whole and what is seen, is the disability and not the person. But we know that we are just as whole as anyone and when anyone gets to know us, through our strength and perseverance, they will see all of us with all the colors filled in. 

click to watch Newsnet 5 story broadcast on April 29, 2014

Zoe and her MomZoe and her mom looking at Andrew’s Artwork

Dr. Laura Milgram and ZoeZoe’s doctor at Rainbow Babies Children’s Hospital Dr. Laura Milgram
talking about Zoe’s Wish

Zoe_Make-A-Wish_RainbowBabies_06from left Dr. Laura Milgram – Zoe’s doctor, Zoe,
Sophia Morton – Vice President of Programs at
Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana,
Lisa White – Wish Program Manager at Make-A-Wish Ohio

-63b6413fcb293294Zoe Watterson was the center of attention during the unveiling of renovations that she asked Make-a-Wish to do on the fifth floor of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
(caption and photo by Barb Galbincea for

-3184536876d61875Zoe Watterson takes on her doctor, Michael Konstan, in an impromptu game of air hockey in the renovated space.
(caption and photo by Barb Galbincea for

-afe73281826ea660Zoe Watterson checks out the renovated space on the fifth floor of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
(caption and photo by Barb Galbincea for

click here to read article
“Westlake teen’s ‘selfless’ wish benefits others at Rainbow”
by Barb Galbincea for

Artwork “Getting Up” Acquired for Cleveland Clinic Art Collection


Me with “Getting Up”, Archival Digital Print on Cotton Rag, Edition 2 of 3, 36 x 50.5 inches

In this work influenced by Islamic Art and Sufism, my circles come alive with abstracted interlocking mandala like radial spinning constructions distilled from a personal methodology of kinetic dynamism. Making this work allowed me to experience freedom and move kinetically through my art, much like the Sufi Whirling Dervishes whose spinning dances bring them closer to spiritual bliss.

I was asked to grant permission to have the artwork reproduced for a series of posters with the goal of extending selected works from the Cleveland Clinic Art Collection to satellite facilities. I’m humbled by this because they select only a small portion of the collection for this program, being in the company of such artists as Catherine Opie and Sarah Morris.