“Floating on inner seas” in Interalia Magazine



Water – and, more broadly, floating, fluidity, and flow – proved to be a perfect theme for bringing together many aspects of my work: from my floating colors art-making process, to the pleasure of floating free from gravity, to the fluid milieu intérieur that bathes all the cells of our bodies, to a new theory about cerebrospinal fluid as a cause of scoliosis, in “Floating on inner seas.”  

Interalia is a magazine “dedicated to the interactions between the arts, sciences and consciousness.”  The invitation to contribute to their issue on “Interconnecting Water” gave me a chance to pursue ideas I focused on in the SciArt Center’s recent “Submerged” show.  The magazine’s format allowed me to bring words and images together in a way that I hope enhances both.  


"Cutting Deep: The Transformative Power of Art in the Anatomy Lab" in the Journal of Medical Humanities

"Cutting Deep: The Transformative Power of Art in the Anatomy Lab," which I co-wrote with Katie Grogran, has been published onine in the Journal  of Medical Humanities, and will be in the print edition of the journal in December.  

The article makes the case for “drawing as an active mode of learning which opens a creative space for participants to process the emotional complexities of cadaver dissection…. The anatomy lab can be the training ground for clinical detachment, but many U.S. medical schools are beginning to attend more closely to the emotional aspects of dissection. The authors maintain that the inherently expressive nature of drawing makes the Art & Anatomy course a novel and effective approach to this endeavor.” 



"Art & Anatomy: Drawings" is a book!

Laura Ferguson and Katie Grogan, eds.

with a Foreword by Dr. Danielle Ofri | published by University of California Medical Humanities Press 



On Tuesday evenings at NYU School of Medicine, art supplies are set out on tables and the anatomy lab is transformed into a studio, with a great spirit of creative enterprise. This is Art & Anatomy, the innovative class I created as Artist in Residence – and now the subject of a new book!

Drawing inspires my students to think about the body in new ways and appreciate the unique beauty of each individual’s anatomy, however different.  Their 92 drawings show how powerful, compelling, and beautiful the imagery of anatomy can be, and invite readers into the rite of passage of gross anatomy.    


This book is an inspiration, a pleasure, and an education. It should be required reading for … anyone interested in the intersections of art and science, beauty and biology.”  – Louise Aronson, MD, MFA, author of A History of the Present Illness


Available from University of California Medical Humanities Press and now on Amazon (where your reviews would be much appreciated!) 




"SUBMERGED" pop-up exhibit at 164 Orchard Gallery, NYC

This piece is in a new SciArt Center group show, SUBMERGED.”  The theme is “our planet’s water” – not my usual area, but when I saw their call for “ocean and water-inspired creations,” I thought about my floating colors, and about the fluid milieu interieur that bathes our inner spaces and connects our bodies to the oceans and the origins of life.  
Come see the pop-up exhibit, June 16-17, 2018 at 164 Orchard Gallery in NYC
Curator/artist talk: Sunday June 17th, 3:30-5pm - I will be there!  Gallery is open Sunday 11am-5pm 
164 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.
The full online show (with 4 of my drawings) continues at
SciArt: “where art, science, and technology converge."



"Cadaver Portraits" talk at Yale School of Medicine

Our eyes are always open, but how much do we really see?

That’s the tag line for the Learning to See series at Yale School of Medicine’s Program for Humanities in Medicine this Spring.  On March 31st I’ll be leading a bone-drawing workshop and giving a presentation, “Cadaver Portraits.”  

 I’ll present drawing as an alternate mode of learning and a way of dealing with the complicated dynamics of the cadaver lab.  Looking at anatomy through the eyes of an artist, we learn to appreciate the uniqueness of each body’s inner space, and use those details to bring our drawings alive like portraits.      



'Drawing the Human Heart' - my ASBH talk now viewable on Litmed Blog

A video adapted from my presentation to the American Society of Bioethics + Humanities (see below) is now available for viewing on the Literature, Arts & Medicine Blog.  


"In the video, Laura talks about her journey as an artist, the many years she spent exploring her own anatomy and finding beauty in a curving spine - and how it brought her to the the Anatomy Lab at NYU’s School of Medicine as Artist in Residence. There, she uses the expressive power of art to help medical students stay engaged in the emotionally complicated task of dissecting a human body."




Keynote presenter for the American Society of Bioethics + Humanities 10/22/15

I'll be the keynote presenter at the American Society of Bioethics + Humanities annual conference, in Houston on 10/22/15.  A great opportunity to present my work and talk about the value of art to the world of medicine. I hope to have a video of my talk available afterwards.  Katie Grogan (Associate Director of the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine at NYU School of Medicine) and I also have a poster presentation at the conference: "Cutting Deep: Art and Anatomy." 





Drawing the body, from the inside out - a new class

'Drawing the body, from the inside out’ is a class I'm co-teaching with my longtime anatomy teacher, friend, and mentor, Irene Dowd.  We’ll use drawing to visualize the inner body and explore movement from the inside out, kinesthetically.   We'll draw from live models, from bones and the human skeleton, and, for one special session, from cadaver dissections in the Anatomy Lab at NYU School of Medicine. This will be a unique opportunity for first-hand observation of real anatomical structures, guided by a master anatomist from the world of dance. 

4 sessions in March 2015

my work in Harvard Medicine magazine

I’m honored to have one of my drawings featured in the latest issue of Harvard Medicine magazine, illustrating the eloquent words of poet Rafael Campo.  It's part of a beautifully designed special issue, “Body Language,” dedicated to the writing of physicians.
Rafael Campo, “Body Language: The Stethoscope Replies,” Harvard Medicine, Summer 2014







updating this site

This site was designed to unfold like a story – but over years of adding new work and new projects, the narrative thread became hard to follow.  Please bear with us over the next couple of weeks as we reorganize and update it; if a link isn’t working, it should be soon.  Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.  My newest work will be easier to find, and there will more about my process and my connection to the world of medicine.

Looking for something that was here before?  please contact us and we will find it for you.




"How To Draw A Human Heart" - a film on

The theme is "Art in Strange Places" (!) and the place is the Anatomy Lab, in this short film by Emon Hassan that focuses on my Art & Anatomy drawing class at the NYU School of Medicine.







'Art & Anatomy: Drawings' at NYU's MSB Gallery

An exhibit of drawings made in 'Art & Anatomy,' the class I teach in the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.  The artists are med students, faculty, and staff, who bring a unique perspective to their portrayals of the amazing human body. [Click on the flyer below to read the full exhibit description.  To attend the reception on January 14th, please use this link to RVSP.]




Presenting my work at the University of Puerto Rico

In September I spent a wonderful week in Puerto Rico, presenting my work at both the College of Humanities and the Medical School of the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras at the invitation of poet and professor of Caribbean literature Loretta Collins Klobah. With a grant from from the National Endowment on the Humanities, the university is developing a new medical humanities curriculum.  They were interested in hearing about my own work as an artist in the context of my role as teaching artist/artist in residence at the NYU School of Medicine. This was my first chance to bring those two strands of my work together in an organized way, and to articulate how they relate to and inform each other.  I found a receptive and engaged audience, from anatomy professors to  art students, excited about the possibilities of integrating visual art into the study of medicine.  With the help of anatomy professor Juan Carlos Jorge we borrowed bones from the Anatomy Lab for a great drawing workshop in the lobby of El Museo.    







A visit to the University of Puerto Rico

From September 9-12, I’ll be a guest lecturer/presenter at the University of Puerto Rico, as part of the NEH Project "Humanities and the Healing Arts: Puerto Rico and the Caribbean."  The project’s goal is to develop a Medical Humanities curriculum for the university, using the arts to bring a humanistic perspective into the study and practice of medicine.   

I’ll be presenting to students and faculty of the College of Humanities and the Medical School – showing my own work, talking about my Art & Anatomy class at NYU, and making the case for including visual art and especially drawing in their new curriculum.

I’m excited about the chance to be an advocate for the creative power of drawing – and to spend a week on this beautiful island!  I'll post more after I return.



Humans Being II

Woman Made Gallery
685. N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

May 10 - June 20, 2013     Opening Reception: May 10 / 6-9pm

Humans Being II is an exhibit that focuses on the experience of disability as explored through contemporary art” – curated by Riva Lehrer and part of the 2013 Bodies of Work Festival.  Here's the print I'm showing:



2012 Wynn Newhouse Awards Exhibition

April 15 - June 13, 2013

Palitz Gallery, at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 East 61st Street, New York NY

I'm honored to be the winner of a 2012 Wynn Newhouse Award, established by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation to recognize contemporary artists of excellence who happen to have disabilities.  I’m happy to be showing these four recent works in this excellent company.  

To view work by all the award winners, and to read our words about the insights disability has given us and how they’ve found expression in our art, I recommend a visit to


A catalogue is available.


I plan be at the gallery on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 22nd, 3-4:30 pm, for a very informal gallery talk.



'Pulse: Art and Medicine' at Strathmore Gallery in Bethesda


Strathmore Galleries
10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20852-3224

Opening reception
Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 - 9:00PM


above: Cerebrum, coronal view with floating colors

click to view my 11 pieces in the 'Pulse' show

from a great review of the show in, March 13, 2013:

In the path of Leonardo da Vinci: Where art and science collide

By Claudia Rousseau

Among the other artists represented here, the drawings of Laura Ferguson are among the most striking. Ferguson is currently the artist-in-residence at the NYU School of Medicine where she draws from bones and cadaver dissections in the Anatomy Lab, as well as working with radiology images in 3D Imaging. Her drawings recall the delicacy and passion of Leonardo, as well as his fascination with the body’s visual complexity, its inherent beauty, and its connection to the processes and patterns of nature. Her drawings, like “Dark Twisting Figure” and “Watery Blue-Red Figure” are often layered with a density that draws the viewer and keeps him looking. Grounded in science, her work is imbued with a spirit that can be compared to the great Renaissance master.



'The Artist in the Anatomy Lab'

'The Artist in the Anatomy Lab' - an interview in the Literature, Arts and Medicine Blog, June 26, 2012, by editor Lucy Bruell.  It focuses on the drawing class I teach in the Anatomy Lab at the NYU School of Medicine.


'X-ray Visions' featured on Morbid Anatomy blog



'X-ray Visions' on view: June 11-August 13

Laura Ferguson | X-ray Visions: Drawings and Prints from an Artist Residency at the NYU School of Medicine

now on view at the MSB Gallery:

June 11 - August 13, 2012

Opening reception Thursday, June 14th, 5-7 pm - please join us

NYU School of Medicine, near the Ehrman Medical Library, 550 First Avenue at 31st Street, New York NY


Click here to preview the works in the show  


Coming in November: an exhibit of drawings by the students in my 'Art & Anatomy' drawing seminar, in the same gallery - more info to come.