Art Reducing Stigma

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.

Info board on a wall with framed portraits

HIV: Does it even matter?

Out Alliance, Gallery Q — Currently on exhibit are 30 original framed watercolor portraits focusing on local Rochester community members whose lives have been impacted...

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Info board on a wall with framed portraits

HIV: Does it even matter?

Out Alliance, Gallery Q — Currently on exhibit are 30 original framed watercolor portraits focusing on local Rochester community members whose lives have been impacted...

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The Future of Health in the City

Conventus Center, Connect Gallery — In conjunction with the University of Buffalo, this installation examines the changing landscape of patient care in Buffalo, NY.

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Charmaine's hands holding a tin of watercolor portraits

Book in Progress!

We are in the process of producing an artist bookwork collection of Charmaine's portraits, ranging from the Mental Health section of the project to the...

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Charmaine Wheatley

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.

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