Exhibition Examines Art, Disease, Recovery

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Ted Meyer, Back Scar T-12, L-1, Complete, gouache and prismacolor pencil on vellum.
Ted Meyer, Back Scar T-12, L-1, Complete, gouache and prismacolor pencil on vellum.

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Jamestown Community College

Artist/Patient/Advocate: Works by Elizabeth Jameson and Ted Meyer, an exhibition of works visualizing disease and recovery, opens in February at Jamestown Community College.

The exhibition will be displayed simultaneously at JCC’s Jamestown and Cattaraugus County campuses from February 15 to March 27. Opening receptions, with remarks by Meyer about his “Scarred for Life” project, will be held from 6-8 p.m. on February 15 in the Weeks Gallery in Jamestown and on February 16 in the Center Gallery in Olean. Both events are free and open to the public.

Gallery director Patricia Briggs will also present an informal discussion of the exhibition in the Weeks Gallery at noon on March 8.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 338.1301.

The exhibitions feature works that incorporate diagnostic brain scans, photographs, and rubbings taken from body scars.

Dr. Briggs notes the Artist/Patient/Advocate exhibition grew out of a desire expressed by JCC nursing faculty and others to see works displayed with a medical theme. Jameson and Meyer were chosen because their works complement each another visually and thematically.

Jameson was an active mother and lawyer when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Devastated, she initially turned to art as a distraction. Her artwork took on greater significance when she began to use her diagnostic MRIs as source material.

“Since my diagnosis, I have continually undergone brain scans to track the progression of my disease,” said Jameson. ”I began using art to reinterpret these images. My work invites people to discuss what it means to live in an imperfect body, and to stare directly at the beauty and complexity of the imperfect brain with curiosity. I transform my brain scans into provocative images that challenge how society views the brain, disability, and illness.”

Jameson’s artwork is shown in medical centers, medical schools, and at medical conferences. Her work was exhibited at the International Brain-Mapping Conference in Vancouver in 2017 and are on permanent display at the Shepherd Center for Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta, GA, John Paul II Rehabilitation Center in Borne Sulinowo, Poland, and Porter Neuroscience Research Center Building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Some of Jameson’s works will become part of JCC’s permanent art collection and will be installed in the Allied Health Sciences Center on JCC’s Olean Campus where nursing courses are taught.

Additionally, Jameson will donate a selection of her works to the local health care agency named the 2018 JCC partner Agency of Distinction.
Meyer, a nationally recognized artist and patient advocate, is a lifelong patient of Gaucher Disease, an enzyme deficiency that affects bones and joints. He took his early hospital experiences and turned them into artistic inspiration.

For the last 16 years Meyer has worked on “Scarred for Life,” a project about other people’s surgical experiences and scars. Meyer uses paint and vellum paper to create rubbings that trace the scars people have received from accidents, surgeries, assaults, and self-inflicted wounds.

Meyer exhibits these abstract rubbings with photographic portraits of his subjects and stories about injury and recovery written in their own words. “Scarred for Life” reveals that stories about trauma are also stories about courage and healing.

Meyer will also facilitate workshops with students in JCC’s art and occupational therapy assistant programs.