Tag: carilion

Precision and Reach Opening Reception

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Last night I attended the opening reception for Precision and Reach, an art show curated by artist Jane Lillian Vance. The show is displayed in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia as part of their Creativity in Health Education Program. I have two mixed media pieces in the show, which will be up through June.

Precision and Reach Morales

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Brain School 2015

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Last month I attended Brain School at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke, VA. It consisted of a series of four 1-hour lectures on the brain by different doctors and scientists. The lectures were fascinating, engaging, and as clear as a lecture on the brain can be, I think. They even provided participants with free food and these sweet certificates:

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I took notes during the lectures for future reference:

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“Attention” is written boldly because it’s a word I have heard so many times over the past year and it plays a huge role in my work as an artist. You know how once you’re conscious of something you notice it more? For example when someone points out that you say “um” or “like” a lot, it suddenly resonates more than any other word that comes out of your mouth. This consistent discussion on attention has in turn made me more attentive. It’s the reason that I find connections between my own work and almost everything else I encounter in my life. Sure it’s overwhelming, but it’s also so inspiring. This is why I try to take advantage of events and other opportunities like this and I take notes! Attention is something I’ll talk about more this week because yet another recent event in my life is related to this idea.

 

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Medical Avatar Opening Reception

Ana and Virgil Wong

Last night, I attended the Medical Avatar opening reception with some of my family. There was a great turnout and I was able to meet and talk to Virgil Wong, the man behind the show and the company Medical Avatar. His own artwork was included in the show and he gave a great lecture discussing his process as well as his background and an overview of his work with medical avatars. It was fascinating to hear about this technology that we will probably become very familiar with in the near future.


Wong 1       Wong 2

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I’ve been putting up images of these pieces for the past several weeks, but I never really explained the meaning behind them. The first piece in the series, In the Works, depicts the present me. There is a lot of potential in this piece. The pencil grid in the background indicates an ongoing process and a plan. My facial features were drawn or painted and covered up multiple times to represent how I’m still at a point where I can reverse damage that is caused by diabetes and lack of control.

In the Works

The next piece, In Repair, is me five years from now if I continue living with poor control of my diabetes. In this case, poor control can mean several things including poor diet, lack of exercise, neglect to administer insulin and check my bloodsugar levels, etc. This portrait illustrates a combination of symptoms from a variety of complications such as kidney damage and eye disease. Fatigue, weight-loss, burst blood vessels, and nausea are some of the symptoms I chose to depict. The circular shapes in the background are made from a sugar and paint mixture and symbolize a chaotic lifestyle. The peeling away of the paper indicates my approaching death.

In Repair

The last piece in the series, In Control, is me five years from now if I am proactive about my diabetes control. I wanted to make sure to show that even with good control, actually even with near perfect control, I can still suffer from complications. This is why I didn’t want to make the grid in the background too perfect and why I added tiny X’s around my body. The blue ring over my chest is the symbol for diabetes.

In Control

I’m really glad I was able to find time to create work for this show. It was a great experience! The show will be up through March 2015, so make sure to check it out if you are in the Roanoke area. Thanks for reading :]

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Medical Avatar: The Health Time Machine

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Medical Avatar: The Health Time Machine, is an art exhibition that was organized by Virgil Wong–artist, researcher, and cofounder of Medical Avatar. The opening reception is taking place this Thursday, November 20th from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, VA. Virgil Wong will be giving a lecture at 6:30. Please join us!

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New Work: Medical Avatar Series

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From left to right: In the Works, In Repair, In Control
18″ x 24″
Mixed Media
October 26-27, 2014

I finally finished my submissions for the Medical Avatar exhibition that’s coming up. Despite my busy schedule, I decided to enter this show because the theme is relevant to the work that I’m currently doing. I had even planned on doing more self-portraits this semester.

The prompt was this: Entries should include three self-portraits: you as you are today; you as you will be in 5 years if you continue with an unhealthy habit you have today; and you as you will be in 5 years if you continue with a healthy habit you have today.

This process was pretty frustrating and I wasn’t surprised that it turned out that way. Self-portraits are hard for me to get through. It was an interesting experience, making three self-portraits in different styles and with different messages. I’ll post more background information later on.

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Thanks for visiting :]

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VTCSoM Presents The Art of Science

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Last night was the opening reception for The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Spring 2014 art exhibition, which is sponsored by the school’s Creativity in Health Education Program. This exhibition is all about the relationship between science and art and I am so happy to be a part of it.

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Included in the show were also works by people with dementia. These people participated in the Arts Fusion program of the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia. I learned that the part of the brain that responds to art is one of the last parts to be affected by Alzheimer’s, so even if a patient hasn’t spoken in months, they might remember the words to an old song and be able to sing them or be able to describe a piece of art they created.

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The show spans two floors in the school and it will be up through the summer. There is a lot of beautiful art, so if you live in the area and get a chance, you should go check it out! The building has restricted access so I believe you need to set up an appointment in order to view the work. You can contact Rocio Tisdell at 540-526-2571 or rbgarza@carilionclinic.org. A lot of the work is for sale, including my three paintings. You can also contact Rocio if you are interested in purchasing any of the work.

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Thanks so much for reading!

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“The Art of Science” Opening Reception

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Hey! If you live in the Roanoke, Virginia area, here’s something you can do this week. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute is hosting their Spring 2014 Exhibition and the opening reception is this Thursday April 17th from 5:30-7:30pm. The theme of this show is “The Art of Science.” Both scientists and artists have contributed work and it’s sure to be an amazing collection. I have three oil paintings in the show and they are all for sale. Come check it out! Here is a link to the event: VTC Spring 2014 Exhibition

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Mini Medical School Part II

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Mini Medical School is officially over and it was a great experience for me. If you missed the first part of this post, you can read it here. Today I’m going to talk about the last two sessions.

The topic for the third week’s lecture was “The Human Form Through the History of Art,” presented by Hollins University Associate Professor Jennifer Anderson. We mostly looked at different portrayals of the body through the history of art. Jennifer also talked about artists’ consistent interest with the body and depicting it realistically. Beauty was a big part of the talk, and we were reminded to keep in mind that people’s perception of beauty was different hundreds of years ago and it also varies from culture to culture.

The interactive half of the third session for my group was a talk with a practitioner from Virginia Prosthetics. This session surprised me. I have to admit that I was probably the least interested in this session, but I came out of it feeling grateful. As a diabetic, I’ve often thought about neuropathy and the risk of amputation, but for some reason I never thought about the possibility of having a prosthetic leg. The reason I felt grateful for this session is because I learned about the different options and the new technology in prosthetics and it was relieving in a way. Maybe because it seems a lot better than being stuck in a wheelchair without a leg. During the session, I waited for the practitioner to mention diabetes, and eventually he did, saying that most of their patients are diabetics who had a foot injury that wasn’t taken care of. At the end of the session, I asked him what the average age of his diabetic patients is and he said late 50s to 70. That’s not very old.

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A few small sketches of prosthetic leg sockets

Last night was the fourth and last session. The lecture topic was “Body of Evidence: What Happens When Things Go Awry?” and it was presented by VTC’s Associate Professor of Surgery Carol Gilbert. Basically, we learned about a bunch of things that can go wrong with the body. It was a kind of morbid way to end the series. One thing I learned is that giving birth to a healthy baby really is a miracle. Staying relatively healthy through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood is also a miracle for sure.

For the second half of the night, I learned about the school’s use of standardized patients and moulage. Standardized patients are basically regular people who are trained to portray a sick patient so that the medical students have someone to practice on and receive feedback from.

Moulage is defined as the art of creating mock injuries. It’s actually a pretty simple process once you get the hang of it. Here is my injured hand that one of the SD’s did for me:

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How convenient that yesterday was April Fools Day, right??

At the end of the night there was a short reception and we also received certificates of completion. Overall, I was very satisfied with the whole event and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in art and/or medicine. The staff said the plan is to make the program an ongoing thing. I will post information on that whenever I get it. Also, some of the sketches and artwork that participants created during this event will be displayed in The Art of Science Exhibition, which I mentioned on my news page. The opening reception is Thursday April 17th from 5:30-7:30pm. Thanks for reading!

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