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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TEDMED Day 1: The Dance of Care

I set up my easel in the simulcast room at TEDMED.  As I worked I watched the dancers rehearse on screen for their performance in a few short hours.  I noticed how choreographed the session was and watched as they worked around a problem in a new space. 

So dance informed this painting of TEDMED day 1. "The Dance of Care"

The Dance of Care

Session 1 began with Traces a group of urban acrobatic dancers.

Next up Jay Walker, the guiding force at TEDMED welcomed us to the new venue location.  So with in the painting the Capitol Dome is placed center above a statuesque stone figure.  To the right are Cherry blossoms to the left the incarcerated.  Welcome to the dyad of our fair city.

TedMed in The two DC's

Then Bryan Stevenson told us about his youth and goal of seeking justice for so many wrongly incarcerated.  He compared the use of the death penalty in the US to the refusal of Germany to use this ultimate penalty.  He asked us to image a Germany where the death penalty was used on a disproportionately large number of incarcerated Jewish people.  So the stone arm that arches as though to dance has a handcuff that ends in a shackle.  For we stand upon a history in this country that we must never forget.

from shackles to cells

Next graphic designer Teresa Monacino delivered a speech focused on the A to ZED of health care.  So “A” can be for anti or ante, and so on, the letters cascade across the page.  It was a funny speech, but I think it could have been more powerful if it had embraced the poignant.  “A” also is the scarlet letter and can represent the patient in the room.

A to Zed

Then Jill Soule rewrote a history of literature and art by inserting Prozac into a song.  Would we have Poe or Van Gogh if they could have been medicated?

Pills are the answer?

Rebecca Onie inspired us by informing us of the great need for basic care such as food in struggling parts of our country and reminded us students can help advocate for others.  So I began piling cans of “starving soup” into the painting.

I prescribe food

Throughout the entire evening, I was following the Twitter feed with the help of my assistant Kait B. Roe.  There was quite a bit of anguish in the patient community that the event was not live-streamed publically.  Many advocates are not affiliated with a medical school, non-profit or university so were unable to attend live-stream locations.  Many are sick and must watch from their bed or home.  One such voice was @TiffanyandLupus.  I told her just follow the twitter stream and tweet and then you are part of this.  She did and is center in the painting, her lovely face upon an Ipad.


I checked the #TedMed twitter stream throughout the evening and into the night.  Long after the attendees feeds were quiet Tiffanny was still tweeting #TedMed. 


  1. Bravo, Regina! Take a bow! How beautifully your mind fits all the different pieces of a jigsaw into one picture that we all can relate to. Thank you for sharing your gift and making us unlearn.

  2. Go, Tiffany!
    I am uncompensated 4-year patient advocate for safer implanted medical devices. I requested participation in TedMed. I live in Dallas and was not directed to any TedMed Live location. My only access is through Twitter. Thank you, Regina, for highlighting those of us who might have been "front and center" at TedMed!

  3. Regina you open our eyes through your art and dedication. You are the voice of so many that can not be heard. Thank you.