"Health Aesthetics"
Panel and Art Exhibition featuring Pato Hebert
March 6, 2024

Photo of art exhibition

The “Health Aesthetics” event held in the Moody Gallery on March 6, 2024 combined an art exhibit and a panel discussion. Rice’s Medical Humanities Research Institute hosted an exhibit of creative artworks by Pato Hebert, visual artist and chair of the NYU Tisch School’s Art & Public Policy Department. These works, and the discussion moderated by Dr. Travis Alexander, spoke to the conceptual foci of the Institute: justice and equity in health, access to care, social determination, and the use of data in medicine. The exhibit was free to attend and open to both the Rice and the wider Houston communities.

The panel discussion put Pato in conversation with Amanda Caleb (Professor of Medical Humanities at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine) and Meagan Voeller (Director of Humanities at Thomas Jefferson University)—two scholars working in the medical humanities whose work incorporates and thinks with creative works. Their conversation was aimed at Rice and Texas Medical Center faculty to articulate the various ways that expressive art can invigorate the research outcomes of scholars and clinicians working in the health/medical humanities.

Art exhibits and discussions like “Health Aesthetics” offer a means of not only interacting with Houston’s arts community and of forging relationships beyond the university’s hedges, but also, of bringing the thought and creativity of the arts into the Medical Humanities Research Institute’s ongoing project of exploring and documenting diversity and communication in healthcare as well as inclusive design practices.

Photo of artist, panelists, and exhibition

Photo of artist and panelists Photo of Amanda Caleb