Friday, January 15, 2016

Fulton County Southwest Arts Center Gallery Presents Windows to the Soul: The Human Eye & Our Health Visual Art Exhibition

Art and medicine come together in a dynamic, 3-D photography exhibit titled Windows to the Soul: The Human Eye and Our Health  at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW,  Atlanta, 30311.   The exhibit highlights the human eye and features highly-detailed images that are captured through state-of-the art medical photography equipment.

The show opens with a reception on January 29, 2016, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, featuring words from artist Kenneth Thompson and a health education presentation by the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.  The 3-D photo exhibit runs Tuesday – Friday, Feb. 2 –26.   9:00am – 5:00pm.  Stereoscopic 3-D glasses provided.

Windows to the Soul features the “eye-popping” photography of Kenneth Thompson, an Atlanta-based, award-winning ophthalmic photographer who has photographed more than 100,000 patients throughout his 35-year career.   Considered as one of the most experienced ophthalmic photographers in Georgia, Thompson is a three-time winner of the Ophthalmology Times magazine "Photo of the Month"  contest.  According to Thompson, the eyes are often referred to as the windows to the soul.  The health of the eyes can indicate a person’s level of health. Early signs of eye diseases such as glaucoma or macular degeneration and underlying diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension can also be detected with ophthalmic photography during a comprehensive eye exam.

Wishing to “shock” people into taking better care of their health, Thompson has selected some of his “scariest images” to draw dramatic attention to the importance of eye health and its connection to overall health.  “I want to inspire people to get proactive about their health and encourage them to get a comprehensive eye exam. Often times we don’t discover these diseases until it’s too late,” explains Thompson.

Art and Medicine Spark Insightful Health Presentation

During the opening reception, Fulton County Health Promoter Patricia Jackson will give a brief presentation on eye health and chronic diseases. Atlanta ranks high in many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)  In light of the high rates of these chronic diseases prevalent in metro Atlanta, Fulton County Health Department acknowledges the public health merit of the exhibit.  “Window to the Soul" is a timely exhibit to help educate the public and a creative partnership between Fulton County Health and Wellness and Fulton County Arts and Culture,” Jackson explains.

About the Exhibit:

The exhibit consists of 50 photographs of retinal images used by ophthamologists.  The images are mounted in art glass and clip frames and are accompanied by brief explanations of the disease featured in the photograph.  There are 20, 11x14-inch images and 30, 16x20-inch, parallel-view or stereoscopic  3D images.  Visual artist and Fulton County Arts Education Coordinator Brian Hebert is the co-curator of the show, working alongside Thompson.

Viewers can get a 3-D look at the internal structure of the eyes and gain insight on how signs of eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration appear in eyes and how chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure damage the eyes.

“This is an outstanding exhibit for educators and their students. It is scientific, visual and engaging and therefore educational.  The 3-D pictures will open kids’ eyes to another world of existence…the rare career opportunity of ophthalmic photography and medical illustration,” Thompson explains.

About the Artist:

Kenneth Thompson is a photographer and medical illustrator who works in the highly specialized filed of ophthalmic photography.  He uses high tech equipment to document the inner workings of the human eyes.  These images help inform the ophthalmologist of the health condition of the patient’s eyes. Thompson is considered by his peers to be an “eye imaging expert.”  He earned a B.S. in medical illustration from Clark College and is a member of the Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society.

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