Dylan Klempner, Writer in Residence

L'sImageDylan Klempner began interning for Arts in Medicine in 2010. A year later, he became an artist in residence serving primarily adults. A writer and interdisciplinary artist, Dylan uses a variety of media in his work with patients, caregivers, and staff.

In 2011, Dylan rolled out The Mobile Inspiration Station, a cart filled with art supplies–paint, small canvases, journals, pens, pencils, drawing paper, puzzles and games. He wheels these materials through the hospital, room-to-room, encouraging patients and their caregivers to take part in an activity. Dylan also offers writing workshops at Shands using the method taught by Amherst Writer’s and Artists.

In addition to his work in the hospital, Dylan writes for publication about the importance of art and creativity in everyday life. He has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College, a BS in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College, and an MFA in creative nonfiction at Goucher College. His articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and newspapers across America, and he credits the literary e-zine, BraidedBrook.com with Russ Beck.

Why Arts in Medicine?

Although Dylan grew up in an artistic family, he did not take himself seriously as an artist until his late twenties, so he understands well the blocks that can stop us from expressing creativity freely. As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Dylan believes that everyone is creative and that creativity is an essential part of how we function as humans–individually, in interpersonal relationships, and in the wider community. He sees it as his life’s mission to inspire people–particularly adults–to recognize their essential creativity and to play more.

As an artist in residence at Shands Hospital, he has experienced the transformational impact of the arts in clinical settings. On its most basic level, art offers patients and caregivers a chance to focus their attention on something other than their pain and discomfort. More profoundly art can heal, helping patients remain calm in times of stress and make meaning of their experience of illness.