Medical Students Host Art Show 

Hilary Gary and Sidra Syed (Class of 2020)  

Art Show PictureArt is work. This is a fact I had not fully realized until getting accepted into medical school. The fear of losing my creative momentum, and with it my creative identity, was prominent. Thus, meeting Sidrah during orientation—a ceramics major from Tulane who also had a strong artistic identity—was a relief and consolation that these two selves could coexist. It would just take work. So work I did; on weekends after big tests I would take nights to myself to listen to music and paint, setting aside more time specifically for working on art than I had in years. 

Every now and then I’d check in with Sidrah to see how she was managing these two halves of a whole self, and how she let one complement the other. We began to wonder how other artists were managing this dichotomy—if there were other artists here. Which led us to the idea of exploring how being involved in medicine would influence an artist’s work. We thought it would be really interesting to reach out to potential artists in the LSU network and show their work together, allowing for the discovery of commonalities in addition to differences present in each artist’s work. Upon sending out our first survey our expectations were low—we still didn’t know how many artists we’d be able to find, let alone if they’d be able to commit to making a piece of work in 4 months. When we heard back from 25 people, we were ecstatic, and when we finished with 73 pieces of art we were floored. 

“Art in Medicine” was very much a collaborative effort. We loved the idea of creating a space where medical students, residents, and faculty could showcase their artwork. Art has played such an important role in both of our lives. The fear of losing that as we progressed through our medical training was disheartening. As the work for the show was collected, we became increasingly hopeful. Each piece was spectacular in its own way and every artist had a very unique way of relating to art. One of the highlights from the show was a 32 in x 32 in mandala completed by fourth year medical student, Lily Truong. Lily spent the past year and half creating this immensely detailed and delicate mandala pattern. As you stand back and stare, it is truly a site to behold. The thought that someone created such a thing by hand is mindboggling. After some consideration, she titled the piece “ProcrastinART.” 

For many of us, the act of creating is an escape from the everyday stressor. It is something that stems from human nature that craves creativity. We all have something that allows us to express ourselves. Some people write, others sing and play music. We just happen to make art. We were able to share to this part of us with a great deal of people Saturday night who perhaps like Hillary and I were just looking for some inspiration.