Permanent Mobile Installation

Interactive Mobile dental clinic for Hudson River Community Health Center

AMBULANTE  |  New York, NY  2006 – 2007

Hudson River HealthCare is a network of fourteen community health centers located in Peekskill, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Amenia, Dover Plains, Pine Plains, New Paltz, Goshen, Haverstraw, Greenport, Walden and Monticello.

Courtesy of the artist and Hudson River Community Health Center, photo by Grimanesa Amorós Studio

Media: acrylic, convex lens, LEDs, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware
Dimensions: 10 ft x 16 ft x 8 ft

ARTIST STATEMENT (English / Espanol)

The project “Ambulante” consists of a mobile dental clinic that travels throughout several rural regions of New York State, providing both oral examinations and dental health education. It includes two fully equipped exam rooms, high-tech x-ray machinery, and a variety of educational materials, all contained within a thirty-six foot long van.

Growing up in Peru, the word “ambulante” stirs up memories of the delightful like-named carts and trucks that dispensed sundry wares such as candy, toys and games around the streets of Lima. Reminiscent of America’s ice cream trucks, they created pleasant, dynamic public spaces, which brought together and unified the diverse members of the community. In hopes that the mobile dental clinic will prove to be as edifying for the communities it serves, I have found inspiration for both the name and the motif of this project from the fond memories of the ambulantes of my childhood. The colors of the design are based on the insignia and interior decoration of the Hudson River HealthCare Center in Peekskill and were selected for their bright appearances. Playful acrylic bubbles attached to the exterior of the van will contain selected pictures of individuals in the community who have set a positive example of dental health. These pictures are interchangeable to allow the van to be personalized for each community. Lastly, special teal blackboard paint was used on the lower portion of the vehicle, providing an active creative space in which children can draw with chalk to use their imaginations.

The design of the mobile dental clinic is intended to evoke a sense of joy associated with the treats of the ambulantes of my own childhood. I want to inspire greater consciousness of public health issues to create an active public space that will foster community interaction and growth.