Megan Hildebrandt: Counting Radiation

March 5 – September 15, 2013
Moffitt Cancer Center

USF Contemporary Art Museum and Moffitt Cancer Center Host Art Exhibit and Symposium

March 5 – September 15, 2013
Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) and Moffitt Cancer Center are pleased to present Megan Hildebrandt: Counting Radiation, an exhibition on view at the Vincent A. Stabile Research Building Atrium beginning Mar. 5. The exhibition, which runs through Sept. 15, features the drawings of Megan Hildebrandt, a recent graduate of USF’s Master of Fine Arts program and former Moffitt patient. Her works explore her personal experience of battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 25. A symposium and reception will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m. in Moffitt’s Stabile Research Building Atrium. The symposium entitled “Witnessing Cancer: Communicating Illness through Visual Art and Narrative” will feature presentations by Hildebrandt and USF English and Women’s and Gender Studies professor Diane Price Herndl. Moffitt oncologists Sarah Hoffe, M.D., and Lodovico Balducci, M.D., will also speak, along with Faces of Courage founder and CEO Peggie Sherry. A reception will take place immediately following the symposium. Both events are free and open to the public.

Megan Hildebrandt | USF MFA 2012 Counting Radiation Series, graphite and ink on paper, 30 x 50 in ea, 2012.
Megan Hildebrandt | USF MFA 2012
Counting Radiation Series, graphite and ink on paper, 30 x 50 in ea, 2012.

Exhibition:
Megan Hildebrandt: Counting Radiation showcases 19 large-scale, ink and graphite on paper drawings by Hildebrandt that explore her experience battling cancer. Using tally marks, Hildebrandt creates a visual meditation on the meaning of time for cancer patients as they endure the seemingly endless waiting required by chemotherapy, CT scans and remission, and adapt to a life redefined by numbers (weight loss or gain, blood pressure, treatment hours, radiation exposure). “I use tally marks to evoke time and memory as landscape,” Hildebrandt says. “To repeat a tally mark is to move a step further toward taming my history and future. I am tallying my past and future, drawing a desert that shifts perspectives, a landscape that rolls, tumbles, and caves in.”

Symposium:
“Witnessing Cancer: Communicating Illness through Visual Art and Narrative” brings together diverse voices in a discussion about how visual art and storytelling can invite audiences to witness cancer with empathy and understanding. Hildebrandt will discuss her artwork and its evolution from narrative illustrations of her cancer treatment to abstract landscapes that give visual form to her experience of fear and physical and psychological endurance. USF English and Women’s and Gender Studies professor Diane Price Herndl will discuss the way artistic images of post-cancer bodies, particularly women’s bodies in the aftermath of breast cancer, invite viewers to witness cancer and shape public conversation about the disease. A discussion will follow with Moffitt oncologists Sarah Hoffe, M.D., and Lodovico Balducci, M.D., and Faces of Courage founder and CEO Peggie Sherry. The symposium will be moderated by USFCAM associate curator of education Megan Voeller.

Presenters:
Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009 at age 25, visual artist Megan Hildebrandt strives through her work to comprehend mortality and vitality, physical and psychological endurance, and the ways in which people document the passage of time. Born in Detroit in 1984, Hildebrandt received her Masters of Fine Arts in 2012 from the University of South Florida. She has lectured and exhibited at museums and galleries in New York, Detroit, Portland, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Austin and New Orleans. In 2011, Hildebrandt was a guest on the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation’s “Stupid Cancer Show” and has received a grant from the Gobioff Foundation for the publication of her graphic novel about young adult cancer, Tunnel Visions. Treated at Moffitt Cancer Center, Hildebrandt has been in remission since early 2011. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Diane Price Herndl is Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at USF. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the cultural discourses of breast cancer, from autobiographies to novels, poetry, and art, and from Supreme Court decisions to pink-ribbon campaigns. She is the author of Invalid Women: Figuring Feminine Illness in American Fiction and Culture, 1840-1940 (1993) as well as essays on feminist theory, medical humanities, disability studies, and American fiction; she has also co-edited several volumes of feminist theory. Recent work includes “Virtual Cancer, Posthuman Disease” (2013) and “Our Breasts, Our Selves: Identity, Community, and Ethics in Cancer Autobiographies” (2006).

Megan Hildebrandt | Counting Radiation Series | detail
Megan Hildebrandt | Counting Radiation Series | detail

Respondents:
Lodovico Balducci, M.D., is Professor of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and Program Leader of the Senior Adult Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Sarah Hoffe, M.D., is a radiation oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center and Director of Physician Services at Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza. In 2009, she was named Moffitt Physician of the Year.

Peggie D. Sherry is the founder and CEO of Faces of Courage, a Tampa-based grassroots nonprofit organization providing day outings and overnight camps for children and women who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer.

Symposium:
“Witnessing Cancer: Communicating Illness through Visual Art and Narrative”
Thursday, March 28, 2013
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Reception with light refreshments immediately follows the program)
Moffitt Cancer Center’s Ted and Marty Couch Auditorium inside the Vincent A.Stabile Research Building
Complimentary parking is available at Moffitt’s Gold Valet; limited self-parking available in nearby lot.

Directions to Moffitt Cancer Center’s Vincent A. Stabile Research Building:
Enter the main entrance of Moffitt Cancer Center on USF Magnolia Drive and follow the driveway to the right to the Gold Valet area. The Vincent A. Stabile Research Building will be on the right side of the auto plaza. Call 1-888-MOFFITT for directions.

The Institute for Research in Art is recognized by the State of Florida as a major Cultural Institution and receives funding through the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. USFCAM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Vincent A. Stabile Research Building Atrium
12902 Magnolia Drive (at Holly Drive)
University of South Florida, Tampa


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