Creativity & Parkinson’s


In partnership with the Harn Museum of Art and the UF College of the Arts, the Arts in Medicine Programs at UF proudly present Parkinson’s & Creativity with support of the UF Creative B program.  The Criser Cancer Resource Center gallery is featuring artwork by patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders from July 6 – August 7, 2015.  The exhibit is located in the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital at 1515 SW Archer Road, Room 1302, Gainesville, FL 32608.  The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday-Friday 9 AM to 5 PM.  Join us for an artist reception with the Art in Motion participants on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 from 2-4pm.  Light refreshments and interactive activities will be available.

The Harn Museum of Art is featuring a larger collection of Robert Cunningham’s work in the Chandler Auditorium from June 29-August 9, 2015.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  For more information please visit their website or (352) 392-9826.

On Saturday, July 11 at 3pm the Harn Museum of Art will be hosting The Creative Mind: Moving through Parkinson’s with Art.  Experts on movement disorders and arts in medicine will discuss how creative engagement can impact those living with Parkinson’s disease.  The discussion is followed by a reception that includes dance and art making activities that highlight the connections between art, health and artists with Parkinson’s disease.

Robert Cunningham: Out of the Blue

Robert Cunningham, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, has been painting for more than 15 years, inspired first by the work of French painter Henri Matisse. His paintings now number in the hundreds and explore a wide range of themes and subjects including portraiture, landscape, the nude, still-life and religious subjects. Employing expressive colors and a sensitivity to abstract forms vividly rendered, Cunningham produces intense, often psychologically suggestive images.

When first diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s more than 25 years ago, he was father of three young children, and owned and operated restaurants in Tallahassee. Cunningham, a Vietnam-era Army veteran, has been managing Parkinson’s disease with medical treatment at the University of Florida and the University of South Alabama.

When Parkinson’s forced him to retire, he soon turned to painting to avoid social isolation and as a means to gain a handle on Parkinson’s. “I used the tremors,” he has observed, “to make different effects with the paint.” His creative energy is shared with other Parkinson’s patients, often stimulated by treatments.

Art in Motion Artists

Art in Motion is a weekly visual art program that brings individuals with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders together for social interaction and creative expression. They explore a variety of mediums under the direction of Artist in Residence Madeline Austin, and periodically exhibit around the Gainesville community.

For more information on all events, please contact UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine at (352) 733-0880.