At a new exhibit, a sculpture of a woman is placed between a Kyoto Buddha and a Peruvian granary. The scene is not one found in the average hospital.
Hundreds of people turned out for the opening of a new art exhibit at the Yale Physicians Building Thursday. The artwork includes oil and acrylic paintings, sculpture, watercolors, pastels, prints, wood, fiber media and jewelry.
Exhibit director Lorraine Roseman said she was very happy with the turnout for the latest in the Physicians Building’s series of shows, which are held twice a year. The exhibit is the eighth in the series.
“It’s exciting that there are this many people here. It only reinforces our goal of helping to have both art and healing together in this workplace,” she said.
The art, Roseman said, acts as “positive reinforcement” both for the Physicians Building patients and staff.
The climax of the exhibition was the unveiling of “Seated Young Woman,” a nearly life-sized nude sculpture by Wayne Southwick, M.D., the Yale Medical Group’s sculptor-in-residence. But Southwick, who has contributed to every exhibit since the series’ inception, downplayed his role.
“I’m just one of the people who submit work,” he said. “I’m hardly the most important person here by any means — though I may be the oldest one.”
Two other sculptures by Southwick were displayed at the show.
Sponsor Bitsie Clark, former executive director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, introduced the artists and spoke about the motivations of those who contributed to the exhibition.
“I’m very, very proud to be connected to this wonderful project where everyone wins,” she said. “The artists get a chance to show their work to hundreds of people, and the people in the hospital get the joy that comes from seeing this art.”
Many of the participating artists live and work in the New Haven area. Printmaker and mixed-media artist Evie Lindemann, for example, works at the Yale School of Nursing with children who have Type I diabetes.
“I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my reflections about people I work with and what they tell me about,” Lindemann said. “Through my art, I’ve tried to explore what happens to people when they get sick, how they change both physically and emotionally, what they need.”
Though most of the artists featured in the exhibit hail from Connecticut, there were notable exceptions. In attendance was Chinese painter Cuiying Zhang, who — through the use of her interpreter, Yale School of Medicine postdoctoral fellow Yanping Lu — said she has received considerable international attention for her paintings, which “manifest the truthfulness, compassion and tolerance of Falun Dafa.”
Falun Dafa, a meditation exercise to which Zhang credits her recovery from crippling arthritis, has indirectly gained her nearly as much international attention as her paintings. Her role as an advocate for the exercise resulted in her eight-month imprisonment in China in 2000.
Lu, who is also president of the Connecticut Chinese Culture Association, echoed Zhang’s appreciation for the “channels to voice out concerns” found in the U.S. She said the American government has been “really supportive” of Zhang, who appreciates that consideration.
After Clark’s introductions and a complimentary dinner on the building’s first floor, selections from Caduceus, the new Yale Medical Group Art Place Poetry Anthology, were read aloud.
The exhibit will be on display and for sale through April 2004.
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