Artist Spotlight: Engineering professor exhibits at UF Health

The Arts in Medicine Programs at the University of Florida are thrilled to exhibit an origami installation by Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Creative Scholar-in-Residence at the UF School of Theatre and Dance, Elif Akcali.  As highlighted in the piece below, Elif has been engaging her engineering students and introducing them to a world of artistic expression.

excerpts, video and photograph courtesy of Sixtine Gurrey and

In her work, Elif is interested in exploring human narratives: the narratives we construct for ourselves and tell ourselves as well as to others, and the narratives that others construct for us and tell us and others. Her goal is to capture the essence of these narratives. With simplicity of form that offers richness of interpretation, she intends to invite and embrace all of our stories. As she greets the viewer with a snapshot of her own narrative, she intends to persuade the viewer to relate what they see of their narrative. She is tempting two narratives to complement or to challenge one another.

In Messages Elif explores the narratives constructed by messages passed among people who share a particular common experience. For the past several weeks, Arts in Medicine has been gathering messages of health and inspiration from patients, family members and staff of UF Health.  The messages are then printed on paper scrolls that are carried by two origami cranes.  In Greek mythology, cranes are known as the messengers of wisdom.  Elif uses the origami crane as a medium for storytelling.


Her work will be on display in the Shands Cancer Hospital, Criser Cancer Resource Center, Room 1302 from January 2 through February 15, 2014, Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM.  An artist reception will be held Thursday, January 23 from 5:30-7:30pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information, please call UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine 352.733.0880.