Mural Monday: Seemore’s Scene and Eye-Popping Surroundings

Eyelene & SeemoreAs the first phase of construction was completed at The Eye Institute (TEI) on May 31, 2011, pediatric optometrists, optometric interns and staff were particularly excited to debut the newly renovated Pediatric department for patients to enjoy.

As part of the facelift, local Chestnut Hill artist Rebecca Thornburgh created a whimsical “eye-catching” 179-square-foot mural in the colorful pediatric waiting room. The vibrant space served as the perfect new home for “Seemore.” Since 2007, the nine-foot fiberglass bear bench was a central fixture in TEI’s pediatric service. “Seemore” was originally painted and displayed on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill’s “AbZOOlutely Chestnut Hill” public art initiative and fundraiser. During the summer of 2006, as part of this program, TEI commissioned Thornburgh to design and paint “Seemore.” She created a whimsical theme and integrated references to eyes and vision - a perfect fit for the pediatric service mascot.

In preparation for the reopening of TEI back in 2011, Thornburgh gave “Seemore” a facelift, and repaired the scrapes and scratches created by everyday life in the children’s waiting room. It was then that she was also asked to create a mural on the pediatric waiting room walls to continue his “eye-popping” theme. Soon after, “Eyelene” – a three-foot fiberglass bear – was created to be “Seemore’s” friend. She brought a girlish and fun feel to the department and was just about the same size as the children being examined, which resulted in her receiving lots of hugs – ‘til this day.

“Seemore’s” return, along with the mural and “Eyelene,” represented just a few of many highlights in the new clinical facility. Although TEI’s pediatric department was recently reconstructed in 2018, prints of the mural still remain on the hallways as part of the overarching whimsical décor and “Seemore” continues to remain a central figure for all of the children to enjoy.