The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Exhibitions at The U of A College of Medicine- Phoenix

UAMA/UA College of Medicine-Phoenix Partnership Launches


Art in a medical school? It may sound non-traditional, but that’s exactly what is happening thanks to a new partnership between the Museum and The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The partnership was officially launched in Fall of 2015 with the first exhibition in the Phoenix space- Scott Baxter’s 100 Years, 100 Ranchers.


Why is it important to include art on a biomedical campus? Having artwork readily available for viewing offers everyone the freedom for artistic exploration to observe, interpret and reflect to gain insight into various perspectives on the world as well as a way to continually challenge those perspectives. For students in particular, this offers the opportunity to enhance their understanding and observation skills beyond clinical relevance. Art is used in the curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix to help medical students sharpen their skills in observation and description, foster critical thinking, and improve communication skills. Medical students are challenged to explore the range of human emotion and perception of the world as conveyed visually. Through the partnership, students are offered an opportunity for structured observation of artworks and discussion of fine arts concepts with the goal of improving their visual diagnostic skills and communication skills to ultimately enhance patient care.


Dr. Cynthia Standley, Director of the Program of Art in Medicine is excited about the partnership and the opportunity to use artwork to improve the relationship between physicians and patients by: improving observation, perception and communication skills, improving visual diagnostic skills, practicing skills in a different context and outside of content area, distinguishing between appreciation and preference, understanding personal bias, and learning to see in order to heal.


So how does this all work? Exhibits of living Arizona artists are proposed by the Museum to the College of Medicine based on themes relevant to coursework and the Art in Medicine program. After approval, the Museum delivers and installs the artwork and creates interpretive materials. Programming is planned jointly by both institutions, and will evolve and grow over time.


As this project picks up speed, the Museum looks forward to what’s to come!


During the first year of the partnership three exhibitions will be on view: 100 Years 100 Ranchers: Photographs by Scott Baxter (October 30, 2015 – February 29, 2016), Quadriplegia: Sheila Pitt

(March 1 – July 10, 2016), and Martin Luther King Dr.: Honoring an American Hero, photographs by Susan Berger (July 12 – October 31, 2016).


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the reception scheduled for April 8 has been postponed. Stay tuned for updates!