Art students get opportunity to view internal organs of cadavers

AJ Fournier, Campus Reporter

Students in the art department had the opportunity to view and learn about different muscles from the inside of cadavers because of collaboration with biological sciences.

Art professor Jenny Chi said her Advanced Level Life Drawing class had been learning and drawing from real-life models and learning about how the body was made.

One of Chi’s models, Maggie Thomas, a graduate student studying biological sciences, has been modeling for her for three years.

After hearing of the biological sciences department getting two new cadavers, Thomas came up with the idea for the Life Drawing class to see them.

Chi said for the assignment, her students would have to view the cadavers and draw a section of the body.

“I would love for my students to be able to do it all the time but it is not easy to access cadavers,” she said.

Chi took some students last week to view the cadavers and to hear Thomas talk about them, but she did not know the response was going to be so positive.

“We decided to do it again tonight, and this time students would go in with their sketchbooks and do an assignment,” Chi said.

Chi said this is the first time art students have gotten to draw cadavers and she hopes this assignment can become part of the requirements for the class.

Thomas had been working with the cadavers over the summer.

After talking to Chi on how her class would have to identify different muscles on a person from a display, Thomas thought it would be a good idea to show them the bodies.

Thomas said she loves that students are interested and not grossed out by seeing the cadavers.

“I love when people have the opportunity to learn, and even though I don’t want to become a teacher, it is something I am always going to want to promote,” Thomas said. “This is one thing I have always been very passionate about, how things work and how humans work.”

Gary Bulla, chair of the biological sciences department, said this is the first time the two have collaborated.

The cadavers can be challenging to get because the state provides a scarce amount of them, but the department were able to purchase two cadavers over the summer, Bulla said.

Joshua Corry, a senior 2D studio art major, said that it is interesting to learn how the body works.

“It is nice to see something that is underneath the skin and how it works. It is also nice to see what in underneath of what you are really drawing,” Corry said.

Margaret Kilbane, a graduate student studying art, said it is a cool experience to be able to see the internal organs because she is used to just seeing the external organs.


AJ Fourier can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].