Weekly Features


Faculty, staff and students showcase artistic skills at sixth annual art exhibit

Nov. 7, 2013

The sixth annual IU School of Medicine Art Exhibition, “Scientific Inquiry, Artistic Expression,” took place Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the VanNuys Medical Science Building atrium. The exhibition displayed over 70 works by physicians, researchers, and other health science professionals and students affiliated with the IU School of Medicine.

Hosted by the IU School of Medicine Art Committee, the show has grown since its first year in 2008 to encompass work by faculty, staff, students and alumni of the IU schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, and health and rehabilitation sciences, and the VA, Wishard and IU Health systems.

This was the first year Theresa Guise, M.D., the Throgmartin Professor of Cncology at the IU School of Medicine, participated in the exhibit and contributed with her underwater photography piece titled “Manta Ray Isla Mujeres” and “Sunset in the Red Sea.”

“I started to do underwater photography about seven years ago, when I learned to scuba dive,” said Guise, who once considered a career as a marine biologist -- and looks at underwater photography as a way to engage in her love of the ocean. “The underwater environment is a relaxing alternative to above water stress and it is also a rich source of beauty and color.”

Dr, Guise said art, like other hobbies, allows physicians to not only relax, but also focus and apply creativity in a way that they may not have the opportunity to do in a day-to-day job. Yet she also pointed out that she sees many common themes between art and science -- and applies these principles in her research as well.

"The IUSM Art Exhibition is really a showcase of diversity and talent found within the IU School of Medicine," she added.

Also participating in the art exhibit was Timothy Yates, a graphic design specialist and photographer at the IU School of Medicine Office of Visual Media. He contributed two pieces of work to the Art Exhibition titled, “Papa’s Dream,” which used pastel, charcoal and rust as a medium, and “Promingdales,” which used watercolor.

“I almost have a need to do it; a need to paint. I feel like I am doing something I was meant to do,” said Yates, whose work “Papa’s Dream,” was influenced by his own father’s struggles in life. “Painting provides that escape into another world. I get lost in the piece and I am in a whole other place.”

Yates attributes much of his success to his late mentor Paul Sweany, who he met while taking a course at the Indianapolis Art Center. Yates, a Herron School of Art and Design graduate and graphic designer by trade also teaches an elective course to third-and fourth-year medical students in which they learn about art history, photography and the basics of Adobe Photoshop.

“It’s very important for the IU School of Medicine to continue supporting events such as the Art Exhibition and art courses for medical students,” Yates said. “These events and courses help stimulate the right side of the brain which is known to control one’s creativity, emotional expressions and musical recognition. Medical students are dominated primarily by the left side of their brain, but to solve future problems in medicine, the right side will be vital.”

There were a lot of groans heard near the People’s Choice Award ballot box when guests to the art exhibition were asked to narrow their preferred choice to one work of art. In all, 130 votes were cast for 43 different works of art.

This year’s picks go to:

  • First place: "Sunset in the Red Sea" – a photograph by Theresa Guise
  • Second place: "Fine Feathers Make Fine Paintings" – paint on goose feathers by Min Li
  • Third Place: "Thinking Outside the Box" – a cold cast bronze sculpture by Min Li
  • Fourth place: "Papa’s Dream" – a pastel, charcoal and rust painting by Tim Yates 

The exhibit will be on display at the Cultural Arts Gallery in the IUPUI Campus Center through Nov. 22. The campus is invited to attend a Meet the Artist reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 22 at the gallery. 

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