ARTHUR N. BECVAR ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
The program’s mission is to facilitate the examination of the art and science of nursing and the health sciences through the eyes of an undergraduate student working in the fine and creative art mediums. The goal is a better understanding of health care work on the part of health care practitioners themselves and the general public.
For the 2016 - 2017 BecVar Artist in Residence program I created five ink drawings that illustrate the various use of hands within the field of healthcare. To gain insight on how these extremities exist and operate in the health sciences, I performed a word-association activity with students currently enrolled in the Lansing School of Nursing in which they spontaneously recited words commonly associated with hands. Following the interviews, I compared the results making note of which words appeared most frequently in the activity and selected those as the subject matter for my drawings. The most recurrent terms within the study were: finger, break, IV, band-aid, and an instrument of some sort such as a syringe or oximeter. In using a collective ideology of the role of hands in healthcare, it was my hope to produce a body of work that people could associate with and relate to as I attempted to depict the most commonly thought of imagery for hands within the health sciences.
In a field so critical to the wellbeing of humanity, I found it important to acknowledge healthcare’s more lighthearted qualities in the drawings themselves. The inclusion of graphic bandaids and pastel colors gives the work a realistic, playful element. Receiving a bandaid with one of my favorite things on it, be it a superhero, cartoon character, or football team, was often the highlight of my childhood doctor visits. Designing the different patterns of the bandaids was also a great opportunity to interject my own personality and interests into the work such as cartoons and sports. I chose colors for the drawings that I find welcoming and caring.