These past few years, I have had the honor to lead development of Project Art and the Medical Museum at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Project Art’s mission is to help create environments and settings that promote wellness and healing through the arts by providing aesthetic and contemplative experiences for our patients, families, visitors and staff. Project Art manages and maintains the hospital’s extensive collection of artwork—one the largest public collections of art in the state of Iowa—ranging from local to internationally renowned artists. My goal is to build upon an already impressive collection of original works of art that will encourage exploration and conversation to help promote healing through meaningful distraction while at the hospital. Project Art also curates and manages a temporary exhibition program, showcasing the work of local and regional artists in four changing exhibit spaces.
Prior to accepting this challenging opportunity, I was Director of Exhibits at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum for twelve years, where I led exhibition development, design, fabrication, and installation projects exploring life on earth, past and present. I also supervised a conservation assessment of the Panorama of North American Plants and Animals, one of three extant historically significant 360-degree dioramas created in the late 19th century. In addition, I taught Exhibition Planning and Design each Spring semester for the Graduate Museum Studies Program, organizing and facilitating student collaborations with academic units and community organizations to develop and mount exhibitions across campus and in the community.
Earlier in my professional career, I worked at the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, both in Chicago, and the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History where I also taught in the Museum Studies Program.
Video, 3:31 — Art and Healing at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital
Iowa Public Radio, 49:41 — Making Hospitals Feel More Like Home