Texas Woman’s University Visual Art and Nursing Student Collaboration: Portraying Chronic Illness in Aging Adults

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/11274/16405

This project was born from the collaborative efforts of students from NURS 4612 Promoting Wellness in the Aging Family taught by Dr. Aaron Loeb and ART 4903 Special Topics in Art History: Picturing Power taught by Dr. Sara Ishii-Bear. Driven by the aim to merge art and science ideologies, Dr. Loeb initially devised the idea of a collaborative project. With Dr. Ishii-Bear, the pair developed an assignment that brought together nursing students’ scientific medical knowledge and visual art students’ creative skills. The work exhibits the ways visual art can be used to educate the community on healthcare and showcase artwork that visually communicates chronic illnesses experienced by the aging population. Pedagogically, this project demonstrates the interconnectedness between art and science.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Osteoporosis, 2024
    (2024) Prado, Cassidy
    I read that osteoporosis can start anywhere from age 35-50, so I chose to go with the low end of 35 for my starting stitches. I started with a single crochet stitch, the shortest one, as bones start out solid. After 15 stitches (the number of years between 35 and 50), I skipped a stitch. I reduced this number (so 14s skip, 13sc skip...). Once I reached 0, I increased stitch size (half double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet) and decreased the starting stitch number (14, 13, 12...) while gradually increasing the number of chains and skipped stitches. About halfway down the project, I switched to treble crochet and increased chains. I eventually reached a point where I just made random chains and stitches of various sizes as well as just stringing yarn across. I chose to add a border to make it easier to hang. I will be adding structural parts to keep it rectangular. I am currently in the process of blocking, meaning it is being stretched and held in that position for a period of time in order to make the yarn evenly and uniform. Medium: acrylic yarn Format: 24.5 x 14”
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    The Aftermath, 2024
    (2024) Jochetz, Charlotte
    The intention of this piece is to make the viewer feel the aloneness and detachment from reality, while fighting a losing battle. The enlarged diagram of the pancreas is used to educate the mass with a visual of what it actually looks like and what organs are attached, while simultaneously color coordinating with the patient's hospital gown with where the pancreas is located (behind the stomach). The family is suggested, showing that they are there for the patient, but cannot fully be there with them since they cannot stay overnight past visiting hours, and the patient is alone in the procedures and with treatments. The purple ribbons and the flower bouquets relate to the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Ribbon color, showing support in their uphill battle. The patient themselves is smaller, as chemo and dietary restrictions take its toll. While working on this, my friend’s young niece was undergoing chemotherapy for her pancreatic cancer, so I was able to talk to a direct family member about the feelings and emotions felt while seeing their family go through the struggle that is pancreatic cancer. Medium: watercolor on paper Format: 11 x 14”
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    Managing the Sweet Life (Living with Diabetes), 2024
    (2024) Sanders, Felicity
    In this artwork I displayed Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. I used inspiration from Michaelangelo’s Creation of Adam and Felix-Gonzalez Torres’ Beadworks Collection to create this piece. Since the artwork is going to be exhibited in the TWU libraries I wanted to add the aspect of personal research that goes into managing this disease. Oftentimes sufferers of diabetes rely on changing their diet as a mediation of some of the symptoms as well as oral or injectable medications prescribed from their team of medical professionals. There are sections in the library dedicated to a collection of knowledge to share with the public of this disease and many others. For this project I created a bookshelf from wood and screws then used bound books and drilled through the many layers of them to create a surface for the hands to reach out from. The trickles of ‘blood’ from the beads represent glucose monitoring and the small white beads represent the sugar found in the blood- which is an exaggerated rendering. I then invented titles for both juvenile and adult non-fiction books that would be available for checkout from the library if this were a real situation. Medium: Mixed media- unfinished wood, bound books, air-dry clay, acrylic paint, spackling, metal screws, glass beads, hot glue, clear monofilament illusion cord, sealant, and adhesive decals, Format: 13” x 27.5” x 10”
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    Armario de Tulipanes (Wardrobe of Tulips), 2024
    (2024) Villalpando, Lisbeth
    These articles of clothing have red tulips, the symbol of Parkinson’s Disease printed on using cyanotype process. Each article of clothing has different stitches using red embroidery. The different sizes and styles of clothes and embroidery patterns are all meant to signify how although all the patients suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, they are all very different. They all have their own style, they’re own hobbies, they’re own life. Parkinson’s Disease cannot take that from them. Medium: cyanotype and embroidery floss on 18 pieces of found clothing Format: dimensions vary
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    The Unseen Joint Jolts, 2024
    (2024) Pry, Emily
    For my piece, The Unseen Joint Jolts, I wanted to highlight how with rheumatoid arthritis it makes it hard to do the most basic tasks. Like brushing your hair as shown in my piece. When I think of Unseen, I think of black lights that highlight stuff we don’t notice. Like stains or brighter colors. I did this by making a neon effect, making the hand lower in opacity while making the neon spikes brighter to resemble joints flaring up. Medium: Digital illustration Format: 21.3 x 24.4”
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    What Hypertension Looks Like, 2024
    (2024) Lorenz, Abby
    This piece is representing what it's like to live with hypertension, dealing with high blood pressure everyday. Having to take your blood pressure quite often, going to the doctor frequently. having a limited diet to maintain healthy blood pressure. This piece is meant to make the diagnosis seem less scary and more manageable for the patient, giving them hope that they will live a normal life again. Medium: embroidery thread, wool felt, beads, acrylic paint, fabric paint Format: 20 x 26.5”
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    The Four Stages of Tooth Decay, 2024
    (2024) Carmack, Hope
    When we were discussing tooth decay and how we can incorporate the illness into a piece of artwork, a conversation came up centering around the vastly detailed textbook images of illness progression that you would see in doctors’ offices and clinics. Its purpose was to provide a visual in order to educate incoming patients, but what stood out to the group was how horrifying they were to look at, and then the conversation related to the idea that not everyone catches tooth decay in earlier stages due to several reasons, one being embarrassment or social ridicule. In the aging population, tooth decay is a lot more prevalent and more likely to progress to actual tooth loss to due to the main cause of not getting it checked out sooner. But assuming you find yourself wanting to get checked out, what would you look out for? How can we still educate patients without getting into the gory details? These conversations sparked the idea to create a piece that still held a certain amount of visual education without capturing the same vast detail and gore that came out of a textbook. This art piece depicts the four main stages of decay by visualizing a main symptom from each stage in a creative and vibrant way. From left to right you have the first stage depicting plague, the second being a cavity, the third depicting sensitivity and the progression of several cavities, and the fourth being tooth loss. Medium: Digital illustration Format: 11 x 8.5”
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    The Ebbs and Flow of Bipolar, 2024
    (2024) Campbell, Taylor
    As a former biology pre-medicine student, I have found scientific illustrations the most beneficial for understanding and retaining information. When researching imagery related to Bipolar Disorder, I noticed a lack of work that depicted the anatomy of the disorder. Several images illustrated a subject with confused emotions or two conjoining figures. While acknowledging a patient's emotional state is crucial, I believe it is equally essential to consider the neurobiology of the disorder. One potential downside of the desensitization towards mental health and mood disorders is that we often use these conditions in casual conversation to relate to others. However, this casual use can trivialize the severity of these illnesses and the experiences of those who are diagnosed. I intended to create a comprehensive scientific drawing that precisely depicted the science and significance of the condition. I referenced PET scans of a young patient with Bipolar Disorder. The brain scans showed brain activity through the emotional switches. I illustrated the mood switches, depression and mania, with a black-and-white digital sketch. While closely referencing the brain scans and studies, I also referenced several vintage scientific illustrations and illustrators like Georg Dionysius Ehret and Orra White Hitchcock. I aimed to create a scientifically accurate piece that is also aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing. Medium: Scientific Illustration, digital print on handmade paper Format: each print 6 x 8.5”
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    The Dichotomy, 2024
    (2024) Reynolds, Nina
    The artwork created conveys the theme of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) through some visual elements: Dark, Ominous Clouds: The sky in the painting is filled with dark clouds composed of written texts. These clouds could symbolize the overwhelming and suffocating feeling experienced by individuals with COPD. The weight of the buildings and the density of the clouds evokes the struggle for breath and the heaviness associated with this chronic illness. “KEEP SMOKING” Sign: Prominently displayed on one of the buildings is a large sign that reads “KEEP SMOKING.” This message shows the connection between smoking and COPD. Smoking is a significant risk factor for developing COPD, and the sign serves as a warning against continuing this harmful habit. Struggling Figure: In the foreground, there is a figure outlined in blue and orange. This person is struggling or in distress. Blue could represent oxygen deprivation or difficulty breathing, while orange represents the struggle to decide. The urban environment surrounding the figure emphasizes the impact of pollution and environmental factors on respiratory health. Minimal Greenery: Despite the presence of trees and greenery, they seem minimal compared to the dominating buildings and dark clouds. This contrast highlights the struggle faced by individuals with COPD to find fresh air and maintain lung health in an urban setting. Overall, the artwork effectively conveys the challenges, suffocation, and urgency associated with COPD, urging viewers to consider the importance of lung health and the impact of environmental factors. Medium: Collage; acrylic on canvas and mixed media Format: 18 x 24”