my student's drawing featured in the WSJ

A wonderful drawing made by one of the students in my Art & Anatomy seminar at the NYU School of Medicine was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal.  The article’s focus is on the ‘medical humanities’ and the value of the arts in the training of more humanistic and empathetic doctors.

a link to the WSJ online edition:

(page one of the “Personal Journal” section)



a talk at the Naftali Center in Chelsea

open to the public


a new website!

my biggest news (as you already know, if you've been to my website before) is that I have finally updated and redesigned the site to reflect all the new projects I've gotten into in the past few years.  you'll find lots of new artwork, new writing about what i’ve been doing, my adventures in the medical world, examples of the medical imaging technologies I'm working with, and more.

the best part is that it's so easy to add and make changes and keep the site up to date, and I really hope and plan to do that now - and to use the possibilities of the web to present work in new ways (like the 'animation gifs' i just learned how to make, where you can see a drawing come into being from the floating colors underlayers). (and, i have to learn to be more informal here in this News section - no more going through 70 drafts of every sentence, but just let it flow, in my everyday voice. that's surprisingly hard to do - but hopefully i'll get the hang of it.) 

this is a work in progress, and - as i feel with all my work - it has to be a dialogue, a communication that goes in both directions.  so I'd love to get your comments and feedback – thanks!




seeing my brain

Until a few months ago, I had never tried to draw the brain, and in fact most of my figurative drawings rarely even include the face or the head.  when we look at images of people, we tend to look to their faces to provide the expressiveness, and i wanted people to focus on the body instead. and when it came to the brain, the gap just seemed too wide between what it looks like and what it really is.  I hadn't been inspired by its imagery the way i instantly was when i first saw a human skeleton, or the intricate interweavings of tendons and muscles, or the branching webs of blood vessels or neural networks.  at the same time i've been fascinated and deeply interested in consciousness and the workings of the brain.  and then in early April, i received an email, with an image attachment, that immediately changed my mind.

the email was from Dr. Caitlin Hardy, a physician doing radiology research with cutting-edge 7-Tesla MRI technology at the Center for Biomedical Imaging (part of the NYU Medical Center/School of Medicine).  she wrote that she had been “struck by the beauty of the living body and the brain when viewed at such high resolution.” she had been inspired to develop an art exhibition that would pair these MRI images with artists' interpretations of them, and she invited me to be part of the project.  If i wanted to, I would get to have my own brain scanned – another chapter in my ongoing artistic investigation of my own body.

there's a lot more to the story of how i got from there to here, but on September 13th i had the MRI, and now i have pictures of my own brain!  I've already started to work with them and create new 'drawings' and i'm experimenting with combining them with my floating colors imagery, to suggest states of consciousness or mental dreamscapes.

i'll post some of the new pieces soon - and let you know once the exhibition has been scheduled (probably in 2011, in a gallery in NYC).  meanwhile, here are two of the 'slice' images from the MRI scan - amazing!



making art in medical school

Last night was this semester's first session of my 'Art & Anatomy' drawing seminar: drawing sessions for med students in the Anatomy Lab, where we draw from bones and from the cadavers that the students are (or soon will be) dissecting.  It's 'life drawing' with a twist – and part of what I've been doing since I became Artist in Residence in the Master Scholars Medical Humanism Program at the NYU School of Medicine, in 2008. This is the 3rd year of 'Art & Anatomy" and I really love doing it. I think of it as a drawing opportunity for the students, rather than a class, and of my role as a facilitator rather than a teacher. I'll write more about it soon (and you can see some of my own Anatomy Lab drawings here, especially in the Hand Dance series.

I make a point of telling the students that it's the process of drawing that's important, and not to worry too much about producing masterpieces but just get into the process itself.  But along the way, they have produced some wonderful work, and it will be great to show it off in an exhibition we're planning for later this year. 



“Delineate” drawing show

I have 3 drawings in this show:

DELINEATE: an Invitational Exhibition of Drawings

September 6 - October 20, 2010
curated by Mana Hewitt

McMaster Gallery, University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

To view the online catalogue:

A review of the show, "Drawing Gets Its Due in Delineate" []


About The Visible Skeleton Series traveling exhibit  

Laura Ferguson: The Visible Skeleton Series was originally exhibited at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC, where it was on view from May 2004 - August 2005.  Two versions of the exhibit later traveled to other venues: one with a selection of original drawings, the other with print versions of the drawings.

To inquire about exhibiting The Visible Skeleton Series, or other work by Laura, please contact us.


'Beyond the X-Ray'

Museum of Science
Boston, MA
May 2005 - ongoing
includes 9 digital images from The Visible Skeleton Series

'Beyond the X-Ray' began as an actual exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science for several years - now it's an online exhibit, viewable on the museum's website, at:



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