Laura Ferguson has made her own body the subject of her work, finding beauty in a curving spine and exploring the connections between pain, consciousness, and creativity.  Her body awareness is grounded in years of dance anatomy study, neuromuscular training, and movement practice. She draws from bones and cadaver dissections in the anatomy lab, and from 3D radiology scans of her own body made for the purpose of art.  

Laura’s drawings and prints have been featured in seminal exhibitions on art and medicine, including “Seeing Ourselves: The Science and Art of Diagnostic Medical Imaging” at MuseCPMI in New York (2012), “Beyond the X-ray” at the Boston Museum of Science (2005-10), and “Humans Being: Disability in Contemporary Art” at the Chicago Cultural Center (2006). Her “Visible Skeleton” series was the subject of a major installation at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington DC (2004), and traveled to venues around the country (2005-10). Her work is represented in many corporate, private, and public collections including the National Library of Medicine and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 

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Laura brings her artist’s perspective to the NYU School of Medicine as Artist in Residence in the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine. The innovative Art & Anatomy drawing class she created in 2009 has received national attention and inspired a book, Art & Anatomy: Drawings, a journal article, “Cutting Deep: The Transformative Power of Art in the Anatomy Lab,” and a short film, “How To Draw A Human Heart.” Her plenary keynote presentation for the American Society for Bioethics + Humanities is viewable on LitMed.  She recently talked about “The Art of Medicine” on the Doctors Who Create podcast (episode #16).  Laura is Art Editor of the widely read and respected Literature, Arts and Medicine Database and its related LitMed Magazine.  

Writing has always been part of her process, putting words and images together to tell the story of her body’s life and its transformation into art. Her words-and-pictures piece, “Floating on inner seas,” was published in Interalia Magazine in September 2018), and will be part of a book, The Consciousness of the Body, about her art and the process of making it, currently in progress.


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Selected exhibitions (*solo)

Submerged, SciArt Center, New York 

Art & Anatomy: Drawings, MSB Gallery, New York (curator) 

Humans Being II, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago IL

Wynn Newhouse Awards Exhibition, 2012, Palitz Gallery, New York

Pulse: Art and Medicine, Strathmore Gallery, Bethesda MD 

* X-ray Visions, MSB Gallery, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY

Seeing Ourselves, MuseCPMI (Center for Photography and the Moving Image), NYC

Beyond the X-ray, Museum of Science, Boston MA

Delineate: Drawing, McMaster Gallery, Columbia SC 

* The Visible Skeleton Series, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC, and other venues

Humans Being, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL

Paper Invitational, Woodward Gallery, NYC 

Transparent/Opaque, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver CO

eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art, The United Nations, NYC, and other venues

* The Consciousness of the Body, Dance Theater Workshop Gallery, NYC

* Drawing the Red-Cloaked Figure, Noho Gallery, NYC

Bodyworks, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia PA

The Anthrpomorphic Book, Center for Book Arts, NYC

Artist Residency and Teaching

Artist in Residence and Art & Anatomy teaching artist, Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine, New York University School of Medicine

Drawing the Moving Body, Inside and Out, with Irene Dowd: anatomy and life drawing to visualize the inner body, for dancers and movement practitioners, New York NY

Awards

Wynn Newhouse Award, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, New York, 2012

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Selected Public Presentations and Drawing Workshops

Drawing My Body, VIBE Symposium on Deaf and disability art making, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, 2018

Cadaver Portraits: Learning To See, Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine, Yale University, New Haven CT, 2016 

Drawing the Brain, Neuroscience Institute, NYU School of Medicine, New York NY, 2015, 2017, 2019

Visiting artist, Sasha Welsh Experiential Anatomy class, The New School, NYC, 2017


Drawing the Human Heart, American Society for Bioethics + Humanities plenary keynote presenter, Houston TX, 2015

Medical Humanities and the Visual Arts, University of Puerto Rico, NEH visiting artist, 2013

Look Again: Strategic Arts-Based Education in Medical Schools, Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, 2011

Drawing and Dissection: Ways of Understanding the Human Body, The Humanities Initiative at NYU, New York NY, 2010

Visiting artist, Bettyann Kevles’ History of Medical Imaging, Yale University, New Haven CT, 2009

Body Language, Society for Disability Studies, Baruch College, NYC, 2008

Imagining and Imaging the Disabled Self, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago IL, 2006

Images of the Less-Than-Perfect Body, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC, 2004

Notions of the Norm: Modeling and Remodeling the Self, College Art Association, NYC, 2000

Bodyworks, Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art, Philadelphia PA, 1994 

Public and Corporate Collections

National Library of Medicine, Washington, DC
National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington, DC
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, IL
New York University Langone Medical Center, Ehrman Medical Library, New York, NY
VSA arts Collection, Washington, DC
Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, Schenectady, NY
Museum of Modern Spinal Surgery, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Memphis, TN
Zimmer, Inc., Warsaw, IN

Education and Study

NYU Langone Medical Center/School of Medicine, 2008-ongoing: anatomy and neuroanatomy drawing; work with digital radiology images on Vitrea and OsiriX platforms in 3D Lab 

Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 2000-04: Anatomy Lab drawing 

Irene Dowd Studio, New York, 1991-present: anatomy study, neuromuscular training, drawing from the skeleton

Parsons School of Design, New York, 1976-78: illustration and design

School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, 1975-76: graphic design 

Brandeis University, Waltham MA, 1967-69: BA 1969 

Brown University, Providence RI: 1965-67

Published writing, and more: View Articles | Interviews | Media

View resume [PDF]