TEDMED 2016: Calling all artists

Artwork by previous TEDMED artists.

At TEDMED, design is a core component of our brand. Every aspect of our event – both on-stage and off – is carefully crafted and designed to capture the imagination. To us, art is a powerful storyteller; we use it as a vehicle to share compelling stories from the fields of public health, medicine, science, and technology. Our stage program has featured a wide array of artists, such as anatomical illustrator Vanessa Ruiz, creative arts therapist Melissa Walker, fine art photographer Kitra Cahana, and bacteria artist Zachary Copfer. Committed to diversity and multidisciplinary thinking, we also integrate art into our social experiences at TEDMED. At our 2015 event, we featured “The Art of Saving a Life”, an incredible virtual and live artistic exhibit about the importance of immunizations, commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It doesn’t stop there. Each year, TEDMED selects an artist to create portraits of our speakers. In the past, we’ve had the honor of working 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, we took a slightly different route in finding an artist. We love to experiment with new ideas and approaches, and decided to crowdsource nominations for artists from our own backyard – the TEDMED community. Our call for artists led us to the talented illustrator and designer Lauren Hess. This year, we’re doing it again. As we gear up for TEDMED 2016, 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 2016 as our guest (travel and accommodations included).

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

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.

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 2016.

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, 2016.