About the Project
University of Rochester artist-in-residence Charmaine Wheatley created this project with URMC. With support from Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research at UR, Dr. Steve Dewhurst, Wheatley connected with local community members impacted by HIV and mental illness. By sitting with and drawing portraits of people with stigmatized illnesses, Wheatley highlights their humanity and relatable characteristics. There is one overarching goal: to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and HIV.
About the Artist
Charmaine Wheatley is a performance artist who records by watercolor drawing, typically housing works in pocket-sized tin boxes. Since graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Wheatley has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts; Arts Nova Scotia; and Arts Newfoundland Labrador. In 2012 Charmaine became an artist in residence for life at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where she has had 2 long term exhibitions. Recent related portrait work includes two SU-CASA artist residencies with senior centers in 2016 through the Brooklyn Arts Council. Wheatley is the artist in residence at the University of Rochester in New York since January 2017. Half the time working intimately with the mental health community creating portraits from life and the other half sitting with members of the HIV community in both Rochester and Buffalo.