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Art and Medicine at EODIAH

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas

The Art and Medicine program headed by UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman began this year with many exciting new developments.


New Publications


Pitman published an article in The Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) highlighting contemporary artist Beverly Fishman, whose large-scale, pill-shaped reliefs explore intersections between the pharmaceutical industry, colors and surfaces of drugs, and relationships with illness. Fishman veneers her pill forms with slick layers of jarringly vibrant colors that shift and vibrate based on viewer perception. The confrontation of these wall-mounted abstractions with names such as “Untitled (Stacked Pills)” are meant to spark dialogue concerning the myriad ways medications have permeated and inform our culture.

Read the article, “Pharma Art – Abstract Medication in the Work of Beverly Fishman,” Journal of the American Medical Association here

Read more about Beverly Fishman


Beverly Fishman, Untitled (Stacked Pills), 2016 (right: detail). Urethane paint on wood, 149.9 cm × 121.9 cm × 5.1 cm. Photo courtesy of PD Rearick.






Art of Examination


This Spring 2018 semester sees 32 medical students from UT Southwestern enrolled in The Art of Examination, a preclinical elective focusing on developing skills for clinical diagnosis through looking at works of art. Now in its fourth year, Bonnie Pitman with faculty partners Heather Wickless, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UTSW; Courtney Crothers, UTSW Art Curator; and Dallas Museum of Art educators Lindsay O’Connor and Amy Copeland, instructs students in using the power of art to learn observation and communication skills related to working with patients.


Sessions are held at the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Warehouse, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and UT Southwestern Medical Campus to address topics including conservation, artists with disease, empathy, physician burnout, and cultural influences. Students learn to synthesize personal observations, knowledge, and experiences as they gain awareness of collaborative thinking and communication processes. The class engages students in discussions, drawing and writing exercises, lectures, and interactive experiences all designed to cultivate skills beneficial to clinical practice.


Art of Examination students learn new ways of relating to art by mirroring poses in the DMA’s European Art galleries.


Art of Examination students explore connections between art and science at the DMA Conservation Lab with DMA conservator Laura Hartman



Center for Brain Health


As the newly-named Director of Art – Brain Innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie Pitman expands her research and teaching of the art of observation, meditation, and compassion. This Spring, Pitman will develop lectures and workshops that provide strategies to improve brain performance around her initiatives Do Something New®, her daily practice of focus and celebration of making an ordinary day extraordinary while dealing with chronic illness, and the Power of Observation, an initiative that connects neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing.


Register for Bonnie Pitman’s upcoming Sips and Science talk on DO Something New!

April 12, 2018

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Center for Brain Health Campus