Art and Bioethics

June 30, 2014 • Posted in Blog

Drawing by Eric Muller, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 2005.

The arts can inform us in ways words do not. Below is a brief overview of how The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture has recently employed artwork to help people consider important questions about what it means to be human.

What the Eyes See, the Mind Knows

40+ people attended our two sessions at the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity Bioethics in Transition Conference, 19-21 June. Original art by multi-media artist Carol Harkness was featured, along with photos and graphics from other sources. Perhaps the most provocative conversation-starter was the 3-D “live ear” of Vincent van Gogh displayed currently in a German museum. Several questions were considered:

  1. Is this art?
  2. What is art?
  3. What underlying philosophy or worldview does this represent?

Supplementary articles for thinking about these questions can be found here:

An Evening of Art and Conversation

Figurative artist Karen Swenholt presented a number of her sculptures, accompanied by poetry and interpretation, on Friday evening at the CBHD conference to the 80+ attendees. Adam Creates Himself, pictured at right, was one of the highlights.

Responses to the presentation ranged from “profoundly touched” to “blown away”!

Perhaps you can join us next time . . .