Beginning in 2021, the Department of Art and Art History at UT Austin’s College of Fine Arts began a collaboration with UT Health Austin’s Livestrong Cancer Institutes to explore the intersection of art and health care. The result: “Aesthetics of Health,” a UT Austin studio art course led by Megan Hildebrandt and Robin Richardson.
By creating art with (and for) cancer patients, caregivers and clinical staff, Aesthetics of Health students use their art to make connections and build relationships with others in a clinical setting. Students explore community-based social practice, the application of therapeutic arts, science and medicine, and increase the level of empathy in their creative work.
Explore recent works below.
Project You & Me
Students delve into the world of public health and advocacy, each choosing a topic highly meaningful to them.
No. 1: Bee Cortez uses spraychalk to advocate for gender-affirming care.
No. 5: Kaya Samuel uses illustration to dispel myths about sun care in the Black community.
Depict a Healing Process
Students reflect on their own lived experiences and create works in a variety of media that speaks to the topic of healing.
No. 2: Hayden Howe depicts her experiences with chronic insomnia.
No. 3: Diana Padron explores her experience with getting an electroencephalography, remembering how tenderly the nurse braided her hair to help.
Patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones tell their cancer stories to the class via Zoom, while the students create their portraits live as they speak.
No. 4: “Ryan,” by Lindsay Edwards.
No. 6: “Nancy,” by Melannie Lopez.
No. 7: “Tia,” by Lauren Tucker.
No. 8: “Archie and Carol,” by Audrey Wright.