The area on the first floor of Sterling Hall of Medicine outside the medical library has recently been transformed with the Self-Reflection exhibit that opened on February 27, 2020. The exhibit is sponsored by the YSM Program for Art in Public Spaces.
Featuring artwork created by YSM staff, trainees, and faculty, the exhibit includes photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, and a sculpture submitted in response to an open call for artwork to the YSM community. Participant artists were asked to submit pieces that show how they might convey their inner selves through art, how an institution can display self-reflection, or how they see or do not see themselves reflected in the YSM environment.
“This is such a central area of the medical school, and it’s completely changed by these beautiful works of art,” said Anna Reisman, MD, co-director of the Program for Art in Public Spaces (PAPS). “I’ve always hurried through the rotunda—it was just a passageway. Now there’s a reason to slow down and linger.”
That sentiment was shared by those attending the opening reception. “It’s immediately clear that the space looked different,” said Alyssa Morrison ’23, referring to the temporary removal of historical portraits of men that had previously hung in the space. “The superficial versus internal struggles you face in medicine are apparent in the pieces,” said Chandler McMillan ’23.
“I realize being vulnerable is not always easy,” Deputy Dean Darin Latimore, MD, co-director of PAPS, told the assembled crowd at the reception. He went on to thank the artists for creating pieces that are individually beautiful but as a collection speak to the entire community.
Members of the PAPS Rotating Exhibits Subcommittee selected the artwork in the exhibit, which was curated by PAPS Executive Committee members Terry Dagradi and Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, PhD. “Knowing how to make the pieces connect together is the space is important to the cohesiveness to the exhibit,” said Dagradi.
The exhibit included Waypoint by medical students Natneal (Natty) Doilicho ’22 and David Nam ’22, along with six additional photos by the pair commissioned by PAPS. While Waypoint shows Doilicho in various poses observing historical portraits at the medical school, the additional pieces feature other medical, graduate, and nursing students. Doilicho and Nam interviewed the subjects extensively before collaborating on the finished pieces, which were created using Photoshop and printed on metal. “It was cathartic to listen to different experiences to try to capture what they wanted to portray,” said Doilicho of the process.
Artists, friends, and family members spent time at the reception reflecting on the artwork and the statements accompanying the pieces, which were as varied as the artwork itself. Latimore told the crowd “We’d love to hear your thoughts about the exhibit and about what we could do in the future, because hopefully, we will find other ways to continue the conversation and other ways to bring us together as a community.” PAPS welcomes feedback via the QR codes displayed at the exhibit or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.