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Art exhibit studies orthopaedics

June 11, 2008 12:46:06 PM PDT
It is unusual for physicians and their patients to share their pain and success through arts. For many orthopaedic surgeons and disabled patients, it's an inspiration and encouragement for them to have the ability to showcase it in a traveling exhibition. "eMotion Pictures - An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Arts" celebrates the transformational powers of art and modern medicines. It addresses a wide range of orthopaedic conditions from all over the world.

Over 120 works of art by 102 artists is on display at the Chicago's Cultural Center. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons created this exhibition in honor of their 75th anniversary.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for patients in the public to come in and see this related to their own issues and concerns with orthopaedic problems," said Karen Hackett.

Hackett is the CEO for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She sees this exhibit as a way to education people about various orthopaedic conditions.

"If they're a person with a disability or an orthopaedic condition that they're not alone, that they can see through art how other people have experienced their similar condition, and they hopefully will help them relate to know that they're not alone with their problems," said Hackett.

Hackett wants people to see the surgeon's role from a different perspective.

"I hope that it enhances the vision and the image of orthopaedic surgeons so they can see how compassionate and caring orthopeadic surgeons are, through the art," said Hackett.

Selected art work includes paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and woodwork. Some of the pieces are for sale.

Several of artist Jon Wos' works were selected. He has a genetic bone disorder that causes his bones to break easily. His glass sculpture is a favorite of Hackett's.

"It so much relates to what he has been through," said Hackett.

"When I was born I had 13 fractures and some that were already healed, and then as my childhood went through, I would break a few times a year but as I got older and passed puberty it got better," said Wos.

Renowned Chicago artist Riva Lehrer's portrait of a singer named Nomi Lamb is from her series of people who have survived different experiences including disability.

"She was born with one leg growing sort of backwards," said Lehrer, "and back then they automatically amputate, which is very controversial now, and she has a lot of sorrow about this early amputation not having been a choice that she made. So I wanted to make her body stay clear, but I also wanted it not to be tragic thing in any way, because she has become such a powerful voice for her own experience.

"Disability by definition is complex, and what's interesting here is that even though in a certain way it's very narrow slice of disability, the range of responses and images-- I mean you see a lot of repeated images, like the quiet a number of images of the pelvis, but each one is different and each one means something a little bit different," Lehrer said.

The exhibition will be at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., until July 20. It is free and open to the public.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
www.aaos.org

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL
(312) 744-6630


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