Medical School’s Art Show to Take A Look Inward

“Insight,” by Amber Carter, is one of the pieces to be displayed in the medical school’s art show on mindfulness, which opens Aug. 14.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s fall art show will encourage visitors to step back from the day’s hustle and bustle and enjoy moments of peace, contentment, and introspection.

The show, titled, “Looking Inward: A Study of Mindfulness and Meditation,” features the works of more than 30 artists who depict their personal interpretations of inner wellness through painting, photography, sculpture, and other multimedia.

The opening reception will be held Aug. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the medical school located at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke.

The show is curated by local artist Annie Waldrop, whose current focus involves ideas surrounding contemplative practices. Waldrop is a widely known and respected artist who has exhibited her work up and down the East Coast. She studied at Parson’s School of Design in New York City and acquired her master’s degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

“We live in a very externalized world,” Waldrop said. “To me, the beauty of meditation and mindfulness is that it points inward. Change and transformation cannot occur ‘out there.’ The healing process comes from within starting with the personal, which informs the collective experience.”

“The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is active in the mindfulness movement with many faculty leading several efforts,” said Dave Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the school. “Once Annie’s theme came together, it fit very well with many internal projects at the school and Carilion Clinic.”

The event will also include an introduction to the practice of mindfulness by Laurie Seidel, who works in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine at Carilion Clinic and is an instructor at the medical school. It was Seidel’s mindfulness practice elective for students at the medical school, Foundations of Mindfulness Practice, last year that inspired the theme of the art show.

“Mindfulness develops over time as we pay attention to our present-moment experience with acceptance, curiosity, and non-judgment,” Seidel said. “The mindfulness practices we learn support self-understanding to navigate life stressors with greater clarity, ease, and well-being.”

Medical students who have taken Seidel’s elective have offered enthusiastic responses on course evaluations, including one student who said, “I think this is a really important and useful skill for students throughout medical school and their future careers, especially considering burnout rates.”

“Looking Inward” runs through Oct. 5. If you miss the opening reception, you may arrange a time to view the show by contacting Courtney Powell at [email protected] or 540-526-2588.

Note concerning parking: Due to construction at the Riverside campus, visitors should enter the campus from Reserve Avenue and park in the deck.

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