The Story of Heartfelt

Heartfelt Images started in 2001 on a whim.   I distributed disposable cameras and invited the first year medical and dental students to conceptualize the heart and circulatory system artistically over the 5 weeks they were studying the cardiovascular system at UBC. We called the contest “Heartfelt Images” and we received about 40 fabulous submissions.

Over the decade (plus) that followed Heartfelt has morphed into a full fledged Art Contest and each year we get well over 100 submissions of photographs, paintings, sculptures, installations and music videos.

Our major sponsors include 3M Canada: Littman Stethoscopes (thanks Alan Fairweather!!) and the Division of Cardiology at VGH and St Pauls Hospital (thanks Dr. David Wood!!).  The winning submissions each year are printed and framed courtesy of the Office of Student Affairs (thanks Dr. Sharon Sallum!!) and hang in “Heartfelt Hallway” at the Life Sciences Centre at UBC (see picture below).

What makes this contest unique is that the submissions are judged not only on their artistic merit but also on their connection to cardiovascular content.  Past student artists have linked the art-making in this contest to enhanced retention of cardio content.  To complete the circle of learning I use many of the images in my teaching each year, to emphasize concepts for the visual learners in the class.

We have a wonderful panel of discerning judges (see their names in the individual galleries) including photographers, artists, cardiologists and basic science faculty.

Heartfelt Images have now graced the covers of magazines, medical journals and hang in health care and faculty offices around Canada!

And the beat goes on….