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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

The Fine Art of the Medical World
Medical Illustration
by Genevieve Wilson

Opening Reception: Friday, September 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through September 28, 2014
Jacob Foyer
Gualala Arts Center

Hand anatomy, by Genevieve Wilson

The Fine Art of the Medical World - Medical Illustration in three visual sections is on exhibit in the Gualala Arts Center in September, 2014.

Artist Genevieve Wilson will present her journey to being a medical illustrator as a progression through three distinct visual sections:

  • Before, with the requirements and competition

  • During, with the training in techniques and mediums as well al the classes in the medical school such as Pathology and Anatomy with the medical students

  • After, as a professional Medical Illustrator and Fine Artist.

Medical illustration can and should be beautiful and imaginative, as well as teaching.

The article below from the newspaper at California College of Arts and Crafts tells Genevieve's journey better with words for what her exhibit will show with art and little explanations by the art of the target audience and medium.

Dutchess, by Genevieve Wilson silver point seated nude, by Genevieve Wilson

Genevieve Wilson combined her love of medicine and art into one career. She earned an M.A. at the University of Texas with the support of her husband and four children. Coursework there was evenly divided between art (including photography, video, storyboarding, and animation) and medicine (including advanced anatomy with dissection, histology, pathology, embryology and neuroanatomy).

"I couldn't do medicine as a doctor, but I could do it with a pencil," says Genny. She did an internship at Children's Hospital in San Francisco in pathology and continued her part at the Marin Coroner's office where she had begun her journey. She has worked for years for the District Attorney's office doing courtroom drawings for both the defense and prosecution in medical/legal cases, the most memorable being the Mitchell Brothers murder trial.

Through her fine arts background, Genny developed an eye for drawing quality that goes beyond the technical requirements of the work. She finds some medical illustration cartoonish and lacking in aesthetic sensitivity and in the execution of the main purpose: to teach. Her method of working is very hands on. A photo has everything in it while an illustration can zero in on a particular area of procedure or pathology. Drawings are often used instead of photos in trials for their clarity and because they can clean up images and intellectualize information that otherwise would be too upsetting or difficult to present to the jury.

These illustrations often require making very exacting measurements -- of a bullet wound through different layers, for example. The lawyers from both sides can talk to the drawings and the jury can take them into their room for debate. She has been trained in skull reconstruction and worked on a case for Contra Costa County. She has also worked on the Milk Carton babies updating what they might look like at a certain age based on aging patterns and characteristics. She does not charge for these forecasted images of missing children.

Her specialty is the heart and lung as well as all forensics, but her love is veterinary. Her plans for the future are to continue doing what she is doing now and a lot more animal portraits.

"I love what I am doing, I just want to get better at it. So many wonderful people helped me, and I want to give it back. I love teaching basic art and illustration in my studio and seeing a student learn. I hope you enjoy this Journey."

Pencil rendering, by Genevieve Wilson

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.