A new exhibit featuring student sketches of the human form is now on display in the Art in Medicine gallery on the third floor of the Mazurek Medical Education Commons at Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Art in Medicine partnered with Wayne State’s Department of Art and Art History in May in a new collaboration at the School of Medicine to give medical students the opportunity to learn about the human form through a different lens.
Students learned the basics of how to draw the human form using a live human nude model. Drawing instruction was led by Cara Young, a recent MFA graduate who specializes in painting and drawing human forms. The youngsters guided the students through the basics before embarking on the full sketch. With a live nude model, she demonstrated how to draw a dynamic human figure in minutes with an emphasis on gesture and linework rather than fine detail and artistic refinement. After the demonstration, “students were able to draw the nude figure posing in sessions of three to 10 minutes,” said the Art in Medicine president and MD-Ph.D. contestant Ashley Kramer.
“Interestingly, at the beginning of the session, some students said they were intimidated by their beginner artistic skills. In the end, these students felt satisfied with their work, and most submitted their final pieces to hang in the medical school art gallery. Moreover, the students hoped that these sessions would continue,” she added.
The gallery’s current exhibit is the latest example of a series of events that Art in Medicine, a student organization in the School of Medicine, has participated in as part of the Integrating Arts in Medical Education group. formed by the School of Medicine and the Department of Art and Art History.
“Some even said they would appreciate a lesson focused on drawing cadavers to better understand the anatomy and honor the incredible privilege of studying with the given ‘first patients’ from whom the students learn, a very crucial experience for most medical students. Overall, the first life drawing session in recent years was a great success that demonstrated the unique relationship between the two academic departments,” said Kramer.
Art in Medicine has remained active and busy despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2021, in collaboration with the Latin Association of Medical Students, the group organized a tour of the artistic history of the painter Frida Kahlo. Karla Escobar, former president of LMSA, and Young presented her work in a format that explored how Kahlo’s extensive experience as a patient in the healthcare system shaped some of her most impactful work, and her time at Detroit while his partner Diego Rivera was working on the famed Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Next, the medical students were guided in painting their own Frida Kahlo-inspired introspective activity on glass panes recycled by Young. The panes were recycled from an old research laboratory and, before the invention of the digital camera, were used to develop images of histological slides for scientific presentation in the 1960s.
Supplies for the event were provided by the School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association Fund for Student Organizations. Additionally, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development headed by Basim Dubaybo, MD, provided funds for Young’s instruction and nude model for life drawing. The events were planned and facilitated by student leaders from the School of Medicine.
To learn about upcoming Art in Medicine events and to pick up your pieces from the Frida Kahlo event or the recent photo gallery, email [email protected]
“We will be sending information on how to pick up your gallery’s exhibits within the next two weeks,” Kramer said. “Please contact us if you haven’t heard from us in case we have inaccurate information. Lastly, our Board of Directors app will be available soon if you would like to help plan future events like this.”