ART Project

Aquatic Life TrainingAquatic Relief Therapy Project (ART)


The idea started back in 2006 when Rick Oellers found out that some children in the Concord Children’s Hospital were too ill to leave their hospital beds to visit the building’s centralized aquarium. Rick’s solution was to design a moveable aquarium system that could be rolled from room to room and visit the children instead. With the help of our friends at Marine Ecological Habitats, the ART system was born. 

Since the project’s inception, we’ve been busy with research and improvement. We started testing at a number of hospitals in the Northeast on a trial basis and we now have fully-operational, permanent ART systems in hospitals from Maine, to New Hampshire, and as far away as Chicago. 

All of us at New England Aquarium Services have experienced first hand the amazing effect of the ART system. We’ve seen how it creates a calming atmosphere for patients in pain or discomfort, helping kids who are afraid become more relaxed as soon as the system and its inhabitants are announced and rolled up next to their bed.

We’re so happy to have received such good reviews from patients, relatives of patients, hospital staff, and even some news outlets. This project has been an incredible experience for everyone involved and we look forward to its continued success. If you’re in the hospital administration or medical fields and are interested in more information about this remarkable project, please contact us!

ART in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital wing at Maine Medical Center