Welcome to the Gallery at the LRC
Art can capture a multitude of meanings and help us see the world in different ways, including a way to understand those with illness. The Center for Educational Development and Research at
the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA will be sponsoring a rotating series of shows in our new medical education building, the Learning Resource Center, curated by guest artist, Ted Meyer.
While illness is considered unpleasant - something to be observed from a distance, avoiding close inspection - we hope these images succeed in compelling viewers to do the opposite: to be
drawn in closer and discover how it relates to the whole person.
Work by Rachael Jablo
December 2, 2013- Feb 19, 2014
I have had chronic migraine since June 2008. Without medication, the pain makes me lose the ability to speak; with medication, I have side effects that cause me to forget words. For My Days of Losing Words, I created color photographs that act as synthetic memories of my lost words and this time of being inarticulate and in pain. The one-word titles refer to words that got lost in a netherworld between pain and sanity. The self-portraits remain (inarticulately) untitled.
I never stop shooting. I carried a list of words that I’ve lost over time, and when I saw something that jogged my memory of a word, I shot it and crossed the word off. Early on in the illness, I was stuck either in my house or in medical spaces for months on end, so I started shooting words there. This early work consists mainly of three types of images: domestic still lifes; documentary images of medical spaces; and self-portraits at home and in medical spaces.
For a long time, I thought my headache was as good as it was going to get—constant, low-grade pain. Thanks to a medical breakthrough, I now finally have days without pain. This has meant the inclusion of new work that shows how my life has improved. Natural light, once rare in my photos, began to creep in and take over the images at the end of the series. The tunnel vision of my earlier photographs gave way to space, light, and, eventually, the vast expanse of a new horizon.
"My days of losing words" the book is available online at Amazon
Works by Ted Meyer
Sep 9th-Nov 15th, 2013
"It isn't just a scar. It's my scar" is something Artist Ted Meyer hears all the time. After years of doing work about his own rare illness, and becoming bored by his personal situation, Meyer changed focus and began visually telling the stories of other people who have been through major traumas. For over 15 years Meyer has been creating a graphic yet beautiful depiction of people’s suddenly altered bodies and the resulting scars in an ever-enlarging collection of artworks entitled, “Scarred for Life”. “Scarred for Life” continues to grow and now consists of almost 100 artistically enhanced monoprints taken directly from the scarred skin of his subjects. Each image – accompanied by a photographic portrait taken by Ted and a written story by his subject - tells a unique and intriguing story of medical crisis, resilience and healing.
The project’s title embodies a duality of ideas that are explored in depth: first, that medically related scars or physical disfigurements often have a profound lifelong impact on a patient’s self-identity, and secondly, that those scars have the potential to serve as powerful symbols of regeneration and life, and learning tools as well. Exploring facets of self-adornment, contemporary trends in body modification and the ways in which art has been used to redefine aesthetic norms, Scarred for Life presents ways in which medical patients can grow to view their scars as beautiful symbols of personal resilience.
The Scarred for Life project has grown into a lecture series, a book, and led Ted to his position as the first Guest Artist at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
April 1 - September 4, 2013
Susan Trachman was born in 1961 in the Rancho Park section of Los Angeles. She has loved art for as long as she can remember, After graduating from UCLA in 1984 with a BA in Design, Susan expressed her creativity by working as an Interior Designer doing commercial and residential work.
Susan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in June of 1988 and began stockpiling materials from her various treatments almost immediately. It was her intent to do something with these materials someday. Susan’s two sons were born in 1994 and 1997 and she decided in 1996 to dedicate her energy to full-time Mom hood. “Someday” came approximately 7 years ago when between carpool runs she started conceptualizing her first piece. Since then Susan has created an impressive collection of work made from a variety of medical related objects that have become part of her daily life.
MRI images, medicine bottles, sharpes containers, syringes, and more, have all found their way into Susan’s work. Some of Susan’s pieces focus on the cost of her medical care and the large volume of supplies needed to keep her going day to day.As Susan’s MS progressed and her need for “tools” such as a cane, walker and occasionally a wheelchair were required, her focus remained on what she could do, not on what she could not do. This positive outlook is evident in all of her pieces.
In Susan’s words, “Having MS, like life itself is unpredictable . . . we all have something . . . and dwelling on the things that you have lost or can’t control does not change what is or what will be . . . but making something of what you have is all that you can do”. Her art sometimes beautiful and sometimes interesting is a testament to this philosophy and is an inspiration to all who struggle with the various challenges that life doles out.
January 9 - March 27, 2013
Photos by Susan Myrland
Dementia affects 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 65, and another person develops the disease every 68 seconds. By 2050, as many as 16 million people will have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. Once thought to be a normal part of aging, it’s now known that dementia is caused by damage to brain cells, affecting their ability to communicate. The disease is progressive, irreversible, and the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
Dementia hurts caregivers as well as patients. The Alzheimer’s Association states that more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care to family members or persons with dementia. Given that the life expectancy of the patient averages eight years after diagnosis — but can be as high as 20 — it’s not surprising that more than 60 percent of caregivers rate their emotional stress as high or very high, and one-third report symptoms of depression.
Dementia has been called “a slow death of the mind.” For people caring for a loved one, that means an extended period of grieving as they watch their family member disappear. The little details go first: dates, conversations, small things that can be easily overlooked. Then important memories and relationships vanish. Eventually core personality traits and even basic instinctual functions can be forgotten.
While the brain dies, the caregiver still has to cope with a body — a human being who must be fed and cleaned; a person who might be lost, lonely or scared. The emotional toll is debilitating. The caregiver spends every moment trying to redirect behaviors, fend off problems, answer repetitive questions, ease agitation and provide comfort. The caregiver may be responsible for the patient’s financial and medical well-being, entrusted with making crucial decisions — or conversely, the caregiver may feel a moral obligation but have no legal power. On top of everything, the caregiver may be juggling a job and other family members.
This makes the medical professional’s job complicated. He or she will be interacting with a patient who has fluctuating degrees of ability, and a caregiver who may not have legal authority, but is on the front lines.
The David Geffen School of Medicine will present an exhibition of photographs, “Two Belts,” showing the perspective of a daughter and caregiver. Susan Myrland kept a visual diary of the last few years of her mother’s life, chronicling the ups and downs of their time together. The photos were publicly available on Flickr as a way for family members to stay involved. In a surprising turn of events, they gained a large audience outside of the family. People could relate to the story of Susan and her mother Ginny, because they saw dementia affecting their parents and grandparents.
The photographs and narrative show two women fighting to maintain a quality of life against the relentless downward pull of disease. They are funny, heartbreaking, and unflinchingly honest.
To hear Susan's KCRW interview Click here
August 10 - October 15, 2012
Works by Michael K. Arata, Jada Fabrizio, Debbie Smith Mezzetta,
Launa D. Romoff, Katie Carney and Jeffrey Shagawat
“You have cancer.” Three of the most terrifying words you may ever hear. Fear of harsh treatments, physical decline, and possible death would be a normal reaction in most people on such a diagnosis. But for some, cancer can be an artistic motivator and creative resource from which to draw images of hope.
“You Have... Cancer” is proud to present the works of five artists who have been though the worst and used that experience to create art.
Art about aching backs
Works by Ellen Cantor, Laura Ferguson, Ted Meyer
April 10 - July 20, 2012
According to statistics, 90% of Americans will experience back pain at one time or other in their lives. Some will have pain for a day or two, others a few weeks; many will suffer for months or even years. Back to Back displays work by three artist who have used back pain as sorce material for their art.
Works by Carol Es
January 9 - March 7, 2012
Fascinated with biology after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus, Los Angeles artist, Carol Es. wanted to learn how these diseases affected the central nervous system. She began to see medical images as visionary compositions she could use in her art. Es mainly uses garment patterns and textiles in her artwork, so combining the two subjects resulted into a vast collection of both relevant and illogical experiments. Some pieces were clearly illustrative of these diseases, while others took quite an imaginative turn. Incorporating embroidery, sewing pins, master garment patterns, stitching, textiles, brings about a personal narrative into the art that interweaves a profound connection between the artist and the viewer.
"I hope the viewer will enjoy the handmade, crafted aspect of my work, and the imagination that goes into every piece. I aim to bring a smile, and hopefully some laughter, to my viewers." -Carol Es Carol’s works are featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Getty Museum, Brooklyn Museum, UCLA Special Collections, the Jaffe Collection, and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has exhibited at the Riverside Art Museum, Torrance Art Museum, Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, and Zimmer Children's Museum. She is also a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation and was recently awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Fellowship. She is represented by Koelsch Gallery in Houston and George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
View Her work at:
July 18 - October 14, 2011
Micrographs of Bone viewed through a Scanning ElectronMicroscope (SEM) by Rose-Lynn Fisher, and Research Images from the Macro-Scale Imaging Core
Facility California NanoSystems Institute University of California
Self-portraits by adults with developmental disabilities
January 18-March 10, 2011
AM ME presents the work of up to 30 visual artists from St. Madeleine Sophie's Center for adults with developmental disabilities in El Cajon, California. Each artwork is presented with a short biography written by the artist. Additional information about each artist and their work is supplied by Wendy Morris, Administrator of St. Sophie's Gallery. This collection of original self-portraits powerfully refutes many of our stereotyped assumptions about people with developmental disabilities and their capacity for depth of knowledge, emotional insight and creative talent.
Read the story and see the video here
Artwork by Daphne Hill
Sept 10, 2010 –January 12, 2011
The Venereal Narrative Series emerged after artist Daphne Hill had "the talk" about safe sex with her 11 year-old son. Hill began to think about sexually transmitted diseases and their impact on people over the centuries. Her resulting mixed media collages depict silhouetted romantic couples in which one or both partners suffers from a sexually transmitted disease; their personal stories are left to the viewer's imagination. Anxiety – about random diseases, epidemics and genetic deviations – fuels much of what Hill creates: "Instead of wallowing in worry and anxiety, I'm compelled to express these health issues as beautiful and palatable, even funny." The result is a collection of whimsically startling images that compel viewers to examine their own fears about communicable diseases and the hidden potential they have to profoundly impact self, loved ones and society at large.
Read the story and see an interview with Daphne here