by Paula Byron
A metallic, mirror-studded skeleton depicting a pop-culture icon, a collection of decades-old German expressionist sculptures, and a photograph capturing a scenic watermill. These are just a few of the pieces on display at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s upcoming art show.
Though very different, the works share a common thread — all were created by the faculty and staff of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and the Salem VA Medical Center and their family members.
The school’s newest art exhibit was celebrated in a grand opening reception on May 31. The public, local artists, and members of the Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic communities attended. The new artwork was on display on the school’s first and second floors, with food and drink served in the atrium.
For some, the relationship between medicine and art is a natural fit. “Being a caring health provider involves as much art as science,” said Dr. Robert Slackman, an assistant professor in the school’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and one of the exhibiting artists. On display is his photograph of Mabry Mill, a landmark on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A special gallery by participants of the Boys and Girls Club of the Roanoke Valley will also be featured, with art centered on the theme, “What Health Means to Me.”
The show is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Creativity in Health Education Program, an initiative dedicated to surrounding students, faculty, and staff with the arts to expand their social, cultural, and humanistic awareness.
“After two successful exhibits involving local artists, high school students and medical students we’re excited to showcase the talent of our own faculty and staff and their families,” said Dr. David Trinkle, associate dean of community and culture. Trinkle added that the program also aims to bring healing arts to the school’s educational mission and to involve community members in the life of the school.
“The artwork not only enriches our space, but it also imparts the humanistic side of medicine on students and those who work in our building,” he said. “The opening reception will allow us to build relationships with the community in which we live and work. By inviting the public to explore art with us, we’ll be able to connect with community members and introduce them to the medical school.”
The exhibit will be on display through August.