A local pathologist has blurred the lines between art and medicine for an upcoming exhibit in downtown Columbus.
“Art in the Shadows,” which debuts this weekend at the Urban Arts Space, is a photographic exhibit by a Wexner Medical Center resident pathologist, Amy Joehlin-Price, who has turned microscopic lab samples of biopsies and surgical tissue into large-scale images.
“This exhibit came to be because I think what I do as a pathologist is beautiful and under-rated,” Joehlin-Price said in an email.
A pathologist is a physician who observes tissues and examines the accuracy of lab tests to identify a patient’s diagnosis and treatment.
“A lot of patients do not see the pathologist because their doctor delivers their results,” said Kelly McNicholas, spokeswoman for the Urban Arts Space. “She kind of wanted to bring that practice out of the shadows.”
“This exhibit is about sharing our profession and all the beautiful material we look at everyday, with others,” Joehlin-Price said. “The photos are solely for education and enjoyment purposes.”
The process of turning lab results into art was simply taking a photo. Joehlin-Price used a trinocular microscope, a digital camera and a camera adapter. She focused the camera, adjusted the light and took a photograph. She moved the slide around to take various photos.
Because cameras are not made to take photos through a microscope lens, Joehlin-Price had to be cautious in order to protect her equipment.
“If I’m taking a lot of photos, there’s even electrical tape to make sure the camera adapter doesn’t throw my Cannon (camera) on the floor,” she said.
Turning a patient’s lab results into art seems problematic, especially concerning the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which protects the security and confidentiality of patient information regarding healthcare.
Joehlin-Price said they had to ensure it was impossible to identify a person or their disease in these photos because they are “de-identified.”
“The hospital has worked closely with me to ensure complete patient protection,” Joehlin-Price said. “The images included in this exhibit are not diagnostic in and of themselves.”
This exhibit is the first at the Urban Arts Space that explores the beauty behind medicine and how it correlates with art, McNicholas said.
“I think this exhibit is going to be really interesting because it will show us where art and medicine meet,” said Cali Sanker, the education coordinator of the Urban Arts Space and an OSU undergrad. “I don’t think a lot of people would even think that art and medicine meet.”
This exhibit will be on display at the Urban Arts Space, located at 50 W. Town St., until Oct. 4.
Admission is free.