Skip to content

“Art as (my) Medicine”: A Lecture by Visiting Artist Eric Avery, M.D.

This talk features a visual narrative showing how “art making” helped Dr. Avery survive and thrive as a psychiatrist/artist while working with refugees in Somalia and South Texas and during a twenty-year period when he helped people living with AIDS. The lecture also explores how clinical art actions can blur the boundaries between art and medicine and expand the visual medical humanities. Dr. Avery believes and will try to show how art can save lives. 


For fifty years, Eric Avery has worked as an artist/physician. After majoring in art at the University of Arizona, he received his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas, as well as psychiatry training from the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. His prints explore such issues as human rights and social responses to disease (HIV, Emerging Infectious, and Zoonotic Diseases). As part of one of his exhibitions, Avery set up an HIV clinic at the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University. His work has been shown internationally, and is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), the ARTS Medica Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale University (New Haven, CT), and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin, among many others ( 

During the UT Humanities Center's One Health and Humanities Days program, Dr. Avery will be a visiting artist in the UT printmaking program in the School of Art where he is making a new print related to vertical hog farming in China and fear of zoonotic transmission on influenza virus. 

This event is part of One Health + Humanities Days, a three-day series of events showcasing the Critical role that arts and humanities play in understanding and exploring sustainability and global wellbeing, including human, animal, plan, and environmental health. Events will take place October 25-27, 2023, on and around the UT Knoxville campus.

Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Art and Architecture Building, McCarty Auditorium, room 109 
1715 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996