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!



Current exhibit (through June 2017): Resilient Voices: The Art of David Tineo

In ancient Greece and Egypt, medicine was classified as both a science and an art. This connection between art and healing is present throughout medical history, in both Eastern and Western traditions. In 2003, a John Hopkins University study concluded that art and nature can “reduce pain” in patients when these images are introduced into their environment. Additionally, art encourages mindful meditation, which has been proven to reduce pain in a similar fashion. The mission of the College of Medicine-Phoenix, in partnership with the University of Arizona Museum of Art, is “To recognize and value creative expression as essential to health, healing, and humanistic care.” Through the works of Arizona artist David Tineo, the institutions strive to create spaces in which mindful and meditative healing can take place.

Born May 23, 1955, Mexican-American artist David Tineo has been actively creating in Arizona since the 1970s. Inspired by the Chicano Art Movement and Mexican folk art, Tineo gives a voice to the struggles of Mexican-American identity in the United States. 2004 brought a new set of struggles to Tineo and his art: a diagnosis of macular degeneration which left him legally blind. Despite this devastating news, the resilient artist continues to paint, creating powerful images full of large brushstrokes and swaths of paint that protrude off the canvas, reaching out to the artist and viewer alike. With this show, we hope to bring the healing Tineo finds through his paintings to the patients, staff, and visitors of the College of Medicine-Phoenix.


-This exhibition was curated by Amelia Francesca, UAMA Curatorial Intern