Category: The Artist Speaks

My life as an intern
by Michael Natter, 2017 Rudin Fellow

Michael Natter | 2017 Rudin Fellow Michael Natter was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he was surrounded by many cultural influences growing up. He was innately drawn toward the visual arts and has been creating art since he could hold a crayon. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age nine, Michael developed a deep appreciation for medical physiology that sparked his interest in medicine. He studied studio art and neuropsychology at Skidmore College and [read more]

States of Grace: From Doctor to Patient and Back Again

Katie Grogan, DMH, MA and Tamara Prevatt, MA, Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine, NYU School of Medicine   Before the accident, Dr. Grace Dammann was a caregiver through and through, in every aspect of her life. A pioneering AIDS specialist, she co-founded one of the first HIV/AIDS clinics for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients in San Francisco at Laguna Honda Hospital. She was honored by the Dalai Lama with an Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award for her service and devotion to [read more]

NYU Center for Humanities Event Imagining Illness: Pulitzer Prize Winners on Truth and Fact in Narrative David Oshinsky and Paul Harding

By J. Russell Teagarden On a recent winter’s evening, Pulitzer Prize winners David Oshinsky and Paul Harding appeared together at the NYU Center for Humanities in an event cosponsored by the NYU Division of Medical Humanities and the Bellevue Literary Press. Erika Goldman, the publisher and editorial director of the Bellevue Literary Press, moderated the session. Jane Tylus, faculty director of the NYU Center for Humanities, provided opening and closing remarks. The evening also had support from the Pulitzer Prize [read more]

Drawing the Human Heart

This video is adapted from a presentation delivered by our Art Editor, Laura Ferguson, at the 2015 conference of the American Society for Bioethics + Humanities. In the video, Laura talks about her journey as an artist, the many years she spent exploring her own anatomy and finding beauty in a curving spine – and how it brought her to the the Anatomy Lab at NYU’s School of Medicine as Artist in Residence. There, she uses the expressive power of [read more]

Rediscovering a history of trauma: An interview with Dr. Annita Sawyer

Dr. Annita Sawyer is a psychologist and the author of several essays, stories, and a memoir titled Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass, which was published in May 2015. In 1960, however, Dr. Sawyer was battling mental illness and thoughts of suicide. She was institutionalized and underwent 89 electroshock treatments. Although traumatized by her experience as a patient, Dr. Sawyer survived the broken mental health system of the 1950s and 1960s and went on to graduate summa cum laude from Yale, earn [read more]

Cortney Davis - When the Nurse Becomes a Patient: A Story in Words and Images (Part II)

(Kent State University Press, 2015) [Editor’s Note: This is Part II of a dialogue between author and painter Cortney Davis and our Art Editor Laura Ferguson. Part I can be read here.] Laura: I’d love to know more about your studio process. I see that some of the pieces are acrylic, some oil, and some include collage. Are they as unselfconscious as they seem? Did they come into being easily and quickly, without a lot of working over – or [read more]

Cortney Davis - When the Nurse Becomes a Patient: A Story in Words and Images

(Kent State University Press, 2015) A dialogue with Art Editor Laura Ferguson (Part I) Carol Donley, in her annotation of Cortney’s book in the LitMed Database, writes that “the vivid paintings speak for themselves, and they add a different way of knowing not available through words.” As an artist whose work explores the experiences of her own body, I believe strongly in the power of art to express things that can’t be as easily communicated in other ways, especially about [read more]

Thinking About the Body Through Visual Art

Readers of the Literature, Art & Medicine Blog may remember me as the first Artist in Residence at NYUSOM, or as the creator and teacher of Art & Anatomy in the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine [previously] [interview]. You may have seen my own or my students’ work on exhibit in the MSB (Medical Science Building) Gallery at NYU Langone Medical Center, or read Founding Editor Felice Aull’s insightful annotation of my work in the Database. Coming to the [read more]

Visualizing Empathy: An interview with Laura Ferguson

Artist Laura Ferguson developed a lifelong passion for drawing the body, both inside and out, as a child when she was bedridden with scoliosis. Five years ago she created an Art and Anatomy seminar in the Masters Scholars program, as part of an artist residency at NYU SOM. The class, which includes medical students, faculty and staff, meets in the cadaver lab where gross anatomy is taught. Once transposed into an art studio, the setting provides students with a chance [read more]

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