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Issue Date: March 2010


Discovery Channels


Christina Ipavec

The scarlet dress made of thick, intertwined fibers could at first glance pass for a designer gown. But look closer and you’ll find it’s laced with medical tubing and a small syringe near the top. A fashion statement, yes, but maybe not the one you’d expect — it’s a clever take on a blood transfusion.

The piece of art is part of Cleveland Clinic eXpressions, an exhibit that showcases scientifically inspired paintings, sculptures, poems and other creative works at the Great Lakes Science Center through March 15.

Now in it’s fifth year, eXpressions began as a way for Cleveland Clinic high school science interns to discuss their research with their classmates. In turn, students create art inspired by what they learned, exposing them to a new field of study.

“It really is about communicating the complex ideas,” says Bryan Pflaum, associate director of creative learning for the Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education Initiatives.

Here’s a look at three pieces that caught our attention and the research behind them.

intern | Charles Hayes (Holy Name High School)
research | The Patient’s Lived Experience of a Blood Transfusion
artist | Kate Humphrey (Westlake High School)
title | To Give Too Much and Receive Too Little
the inspiration | This dress incorporates the body’s veins and anatomy. The artist’s goal was to portray the pain and overall fatigue that comes with undergoing a blood transfusion.
intern | Jenish Patel (Revere High School)
research | Sleep Apnea Treatment Equipment
artists | Edward Holecko and Cassandra Jerman (Berea High School)
title | Captain Breathe Right
the inspiration | The artists were amazed at the amount of hardware-like gadgets used for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, many of which inspired the creation of this fantastical sculpture depicting sleep apnea equipment.
intern | Abigail Carney (Midview High School)
research | Chiari Malformation (CM) and Tethered Cord (TC): A Retrospective MRI Study
artist | Madeleine Newcomb (Midview High School)
title | Eighth Circle, Bolgia Nine
the inspiration | Its title inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the painting is an abstract of a person being mentally and physically torn apart from Chiari malformation and tethered cord treatments.

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