TEDMED 2017 Speaker Artist Contest

Art and design are an important part of what we do at TEDMED, because they are powerful tools for exploring complex ideas and abstract thoughts. This point is driven home by the many artists who take our stage every year. Last year Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud exhibited the power of poetry to communicate experiences and inspire empathy and action. In 2015, Melissa Walker shared the power that art can have to heal suffering minds. And in 2014, Sophie de Oliveira Barata showed how adding a personalized, artistic twist to prosthetics can empower the people who use them.

The work of these and other artists tell stories – a specific example of artistic storytelling was integrated into the TEDMED experience last year. Ted Meyer brought his “Scarred for Life” exhibit to TEDMED, and each piece explored a deeply personal story about the subject’s scars.

Whatever the medium, storytelling as an art form is central to our program at TEDMED. Each speaker carefully crafts their talk to share their unique gift with the TEDMED community, and each talk is therefore a piece of art they share with us.

And to celebrate the influence art plays at TEDMED, each year, we select an artist to create portraits of the speakers in our stage program. In the past, we’ve had the honor of working with internationally acclaimed combat artist Victor Juhasz, faculty and students from the Rhode Island School of Design, and internationally acclaimed Israeli author and illustrator Hanoch Piven. Each has brought personal vision and flair to the work, resulting in wildly different yet captivating illustrations. Their exceptional work was featured in TEDMED event and promotional materials, and was also incorporated into various elements of the event design to foster a creative, collaborative setting.

In 2015 and 2016, we turned inward to work with artists from the TEDMED community. We put out a call for artists, resulting in the privilege of working with talented artists Lauren Hess and Gabriel Gutierrez. This year, we’re doing it again. As we gear up for TEDMED 2017, we’re excited to recommence our search for an artist who can help us bring our speaker portraits to life. Our chosen artist will receive recognition on our website and in printed materials, and will be invited to attend TEDMED 2017 as our guest (travel and accommodations included).

If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, read on!

ABOUT THE PROJECT
The artist will need to produce roughly 50+ portraits in a 6-8 week timeframe. Illustrations will be based on reference photos that will be provided. Final portraits will need to be delivered as high res digital files based on our specifications.

ELIGIBILITY AND TIME FRAME
This call is open to amateur and professional artists, and all art mediums will be considered. While not required, the artist would ideally have a close tie to health and medicine. This could take form in the following ways:

Experience in the medical community
Experience working with patients
A personal story connecting the artist to health and medicine

The work will take place between May – July 2017.

HOW TO APPLY
To apply (or nominate an artist), please send an email to art@tedmed.com. Be sure to include a work sample, a brief bio, any relevant links, and details about the best way to get in touch (email, cell, etc.). If the artist is a good fit, someone from our team will reach out.

Application deadline: Midnight, April 15, 2017.