Hellman Visiting Artist


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From 2009-11 I had the great good fortune to be the inaugural Hellman Visiting Artist at the Memory and Aging Center in the Neurology Department at the University of California, San Francisco, working with doctors and scientists studying the diseases of memory. My Hellman Fellowship afforded me an outstanding hands-on education in neuroscience and psychology clinical research, and the opportunity to interact with patient and caregiver communities. Lisa Mezzacappa and I also visited some patients in their homes to get a deeper understanding of their lives and how they saw the world.

You can see my portraits of people we met through UCSF MAC here:

Until 2012, the Memory and Aging Center was spread around San Francisco. One of my goals as Visiting Artist was to create installations at Parnassus, Mission Bay and other dispersed MAC sites to visually and conceptually link the various locations, and to make connections between clinical and research programs.

With my collaborators Lisa Mezzacappa and Indre Viskontas (and thanks to Jyoti Mishra Ramanathan), we also performed EEG (Electroencephalography) and fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging) experiments, tracking activity in Lisa’s and my brain while we responded to our own Earworms project. Lisa also brought her bass into the lab and played a variety of music: warm up tones, improvisation, sheet music and memorized music, while hooked up to the EEG.

More about the Hellman Visiting Artist Program and art at UCSF Memory and Aging Center: