Statement

“Here I am and Nowhere Else: Portraits of Care” was a two-year study that Mark Gilbert conducted with the collaboration and co-operation of University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study used portraiture to investigate ideas about care and care giving at the intersection of art and medicine.

26 patients and 20 caregivers participated as subjects for the study. Patient subjects were drawn from across the lifespan and included both healthy and ill patients. Caregiver subjects included professional and familial caregivers. Gilbert drew or painted 100 portraits during the two-year study.

A multi-disciplinary analysis team was formed, made up of Drs. Virginia Aita and William Lydiatt, other UNMC faculty and artists. The team analyzed the portraits and subject data. Findings from their qualitative analysis were used to develop a quantitative survey and qualitative journal tool that the public used to give feedback at the subsequent exhibition.

Patients appear as "whole people" in their portraits, not defined or fragmented by diagnosis. Caregivers’ portraits reveal their commitment to care. There is also a sense of mutuality and fluidity in the background stories of subjects. Many patients have been caregivers and, at times, caregivers are also patients.

Public data emphasized the identity transformation of subjects, the centrality of the idea of mortality, the presence of hope despite adversity, and the importance of empathy and compassion in care. The relationship Gilbert was able to develop with all subjects naturally informed and augmented the portraits.

The paintings remain together as a collection and are not for sale. The collection is, however, available for exhibition and as a research resource. For inquiries, please contact Mark or Dr. Virginia Aita at UNMC.

All aspects of the study were approved by the UNMC Institutional Review Board. All subjects have given their informed consent for the study and the subsequent exhibition of artwork.

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Jarad  oil on canvas, 66x60 inches, 2008
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The Bemis Center  Omaha, NE
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Daisy  oil on canvas, 72x42 inches, 2007
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Steve  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Tom  mixed media on paper, 44x32 inches
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Robin and Mardi  oil on canvas, 75x60 inches, 2007
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Ted  charcoal on paper, 60x42 inches, 2008
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Roger  oil on canvas, 72x42 inches, 2007
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Roger  charcoal on canvas, 56x42 inches, 2007
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Dolores  oil on aluminum, 12x9 inches, 2008
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Rita  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Sebron  charcoal on canvas, 72x42 inches, 2006
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Robert  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Luke  oil on canvas, 66x60 inches, 2008
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Lara  charcoal on paper, 60x42 inches, 2008
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Kjell  oil on canvas, 66x60 inches, 2008
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Kjell  charcoal on canvas, 45x42 inches, 2008
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Marvin  ink on canvas
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John  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Jove  charcoal on canvas, 60x42 inches, 2008
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Jean  oil on canvas, 72x42 inches, 2008
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Glenna  mixed media, 44x26 inches, 2006
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Glenna  monoprint
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Glenna  charcoal on paper, 45x42 inches, 2008
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Jason  charcoal on paper, 45x42 inches, 2008
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Hospice Nurse  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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The Bemis Center  Omaha, NE
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Jarad  charcoal on canvas, 2008
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Jodee  charcoal on paper, 60x42 inches, 2008
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Jean  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Betsy  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Bill  charcoal on canvas
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Anthony I  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2007
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Anthony II  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2007
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Anthony  woodcut, 44x32 inches, 2008
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Tumour (Anthony)  monoprint, 40x26 inches, 2006
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Removed Cancer (Anthony)  Copper Photgravure, 20x15 inches, 2008
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Adi  charcoal on paper, 50x42 inches, 2008
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Auda  charcoal on paper, 44x32 inches, 2008