Meet the Hidden Artists of Health Sciences at This Year’s “On Our Own Time” Art Exhibit

Feb. 25, 2020

Seven Health Sciences employees and family members were honored for their artwork on Feb. 15, 2020, in Tucson.

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Winona Esher holds her artwork “Defined.” Esher’s UA affiliation is Melanie Esher-Blair, who works for the Department of Telemedicine.

Winona Esher holds her artwork “Defined.” Esher’s UA affiliation is Melanie Esher-Blair, who works for the Department of Telemedicine.

Nearly three dozen members of the Health Sciences community are gifted artists who entered this year’s University-sponsored art exhibit, using photography, paint, sculpture and quilting as their mediums.

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Shailender Chauhan stands next to his art “it’s a deLIGHTful CHRISTMAS time” Chauhan works for Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Shailender Chauhan stands next to his art “it’s a deLIGHTful CHRISTMAS time” Chauhan works for Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Their art was featured in the National Arts Program exhibit, offered to all  UArizona  employees and family members. This year was the 10th year of the “On Our Own Time” exhibit, and the first year Phoenix employees were encouraged to submit their artwork. There were more than 100 entries from University of Arizona employees or their family members, including 32 people associated with Health Sciences, 20 of whom work in Phoenix. 

The exhibit is organized by the University’s Employee Recognition Committee, in partnership with the National Arts Program, which hosts similar employee engagement activities for organizations around the U.S. 

“We had the privilege of seeing another side of our employees.”
 Cynthia Standley, PhD

Outside of her day job as a professor in the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism for the College of Medicine - Phoenix, Cynthia Standley, PhD, is an art lover and advocate. She volunteered to oversee submissions from the Phoenix campus because she believes art brings people together.

“It raises interest in people outside of work, and it’s a good way to make new friends,” said Dr. Standley. When it came time to transport the submissions from Phoenix to Tucson to go on display, she carefully packed all 30 of them into her Jeep Wrangler and drove them there herself.

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Sydni Wooten and her art “Planetary Migration”Wooten works in Information Technology for the University of Arizona Health Science—Phoenix.

Sydni Wooten and her art “Planetary Migration”Wooten works in Information Technology for the University of Arizona Health Science—Phoenix.

The exhibit is also a competition. Health Sciences employees and family members walked away with eight winning art entries, which were on display in the lobby of the Bioscience Research Laboratories in Tucson for two weeks in February. A panel of judges selected the winners.

Three People’s Choice winners were selected by attendees at a reception on Feb. 15, including “Bruises Heal, Words Scar The Soul” by Hailey Koellisch, who is related to Valerie Koellisch with the department of Family & Community Medicine.

Infusing art into health and sciences is one of the exciting goals of Health Sciences. It’s a key part of the design of the Health Sciences Innovation Building in Tucson, which features the El Mirador Project. This visionary public arts program on display inside HSIB recognizes the power of art in education to nurture creativity and empathy in students and employees.

Congratulations to all entrants, including this year’s Best in Show winner "2 months later" by Ellen Cyrier, senior coordinator of undergraduate recruitment in the Office of Admissions Phoenix.

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Attendees look at art during the 10th annual "On Our Own Time" art exhibit featuring art made by University of Arizona employees and their immediate family members.

Attendees look at art during the 10th annual "On Our Own Time" art exhibit featuring art made by University of Arizona employees and their immediate family members.

Other Health Sciences winning entries:  

  • 1st  place amateur: “Purple Irises” by Edee Cadin, family of Sean Cadin, BIO5 Institute
  • 2nd place amateur: “Sacred Moon Flower” by Diana Gerardo, Immunobiology, College of Medicine - Tucson
  • 3rd  place amateur: “Grasshoppers” by Jeffrey Fisher, MD, College of Medicine – Phoenix
  • 2nd  place Teen: “Defined” by Winona Esher, family of Melanie Esher-Blair, Department of Telemedicine 
  • 3rd  place intermediate: “Anna’s Hummingbird” by Erica Freese, Health Promotion Sciences, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
  • Honorable Mention: “Rings Around the Courthouse Steps” by Nancy Maurer, sister of Jan Maurer, Dept. of Medicine, College of Medicine - Phoenix 
  • Honorable mentions and People’s Choice winner: "Bruises Heal, Words Scar The Soul” by Hailey Koellisch, family of Valerie Koellisch, Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine - Tucson