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Registration now open for HEART: A Symposium at the Junction of Health & Art

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Heart 2019

The College of Arts and Architecture’s Arts and Design Research Incubator is making strides in research centered on collaboration between the fields of art and medicine. On Friday April 26, ADRI will host HEART: A Symposium at the Junction of Health & Art to showcase advances in the cross-disciplinary work and to create a space for dialogue that can move the collaborations forward in impactful ways.

Organized by Cristin Millett, Professor of Art in the Penn State School of Visual Arts, the one-day symposium will bring to light the ways in which artists of all genres, along with practitioners, educators, researchers and others in the fields of health and medicine, are joining forces to explore and envision new approaches to pervasive questions in these fields.

“This is a great opportunity for ADRI and Penn State to bring the conversation to a larger audience,” Millett said. “And it is our hope that connections are made that can spark future ideas that hopefully lead to meaningful collaborations between researchers of art and medicine.”

The symposium offers a full-day of events that run from 8:30 a.m. at 4:30 p.m. at ADRI’s home base in 16 Borland Building and the adjacent Pavilion Theatre, across Curtin Road.

Anchoring the event is the keynote speaker Oron Catts, Director of SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts within the School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Catts’ keynote presentation will be delivered at 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Pavilion Theater’s main stage and is free and open to the public.

Officially established in 2000, SymbioticA is an artistic laboratory dedicated to the research, learning, critique and hands-on engagement with the life sciences and is widely considered a global leader in the field.

Cynthia Niemeyer White, ADRI research associate and co-organizer of the symposium spent nearly two years at SymbioticA working as a videographer and documentarian. Her connection to the Australian artistic research laboratory was the genesis of the budding relationship with ADRI.

“It’s truly an honor to have Oron Catts speaking at the symposium,” Niemeyer White said. “His experience and connection to the work offers people attending the symposium a unique voice that has inspired research in these fields for quite some time.”

In addition to the keynote address, attendees will be offered “Art at the Pavilion,” a selection of artwork representing transdisciplinary research on topics of health and medicine including photography, multimedia installations, sculpture and texts from the Special Collections Library. The artwork will be on display throughout the day.

The afternoon schedule includes three panels, with topics ranging from bioethics, to art-sci research collaboration, to using art in medicine. Researchers from across the university, from the Huck Life Sciences, the Rock Ethics Institute, the College of Medicine, the College of Health and Human Development, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Arts and Architecture, will talk about their relevant scholarship as part of the panels.

Closing the day’s events will be a performance on the Pavilion Theatre’s main stage of excerpts from “Frozen in the Toilet Paper Aisle of Life” by William Doan, Professor in the Penn State School of Theatre. Doan is serving as an artist-in-residence in the College of Nursing for the 2018–19 academic year in an effort to infuse artistic representation into the science of nursing.

Registration is required for the full-day, which includes lunch, and will close at midnight on April 23.  No registration is required for events taking place at Pavilion Theatre, including the keynote speaker at 10:30 a.m., performance excerpts at 3:30 p.m., and “Art at the Pavilion” on display throughout the day.

Interested parties can visit the symposium’s website for more information including the schedule of events.