Art Openings

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Gallery: Interpreting Brain and Spinal Fluid Disorders Through Art

Exhibition:  Thursday, June 13, 2019 – Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Gallery
222 Richmond Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Join us for the Opening Reception and Awards: Friday, June 14, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm EST

This Call is Closed • Download the Prospectus PDF (820k)

Historically and traditionally, the connection between art and medicine has been seen through medical illustration, which has been used for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years as a means for depicting medical and anatomical knowledge.  And while the arts and science have long been viewed at the opposite ends of the spectrum, more and more U.S. medical training programs are integrating the arts and humanities into their curriculum. Introduction of the humanities and visual arts in medical education is becoming more common in U.S. medical schools, and more medical education programs are integrating compassion and connectedness with science and clinical practice.

William Osler, MD, sometimes referred to as the father of modern medicine once said, “The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.”  Dr. Osler was one of the four founding fathers of Johns Hopkins Hospital, created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training.

How does this history influence the connection between art and medicine?   If the practice of medicine is an art, what qualities and characteristics are necessary to apply this art in a clinical setting?  A number of parallels exist between the role of being an artist and the role of a physician or clinician.  Both require imagination and creativity, a certain sensitivity, a keen awareness of surroundings, a level of passion, and the ability to see beyond the obvious, to listen and respond, sometimes without words.

Art League Rhode Island is sponsoring a national juried call for art focused on Art and the Disorders of the Brain and Spinal Fluid. Artists are encouraged to think beyond the obvious and create artwork that depicts their interpretation of the disorder from their own unique perspective.  Artists’ interpretations can reflect this from a myriad of perspectives. For example, an artist might look to reflect upon the psychological manifestations of the disorder, the physical expressions or indicators of the disorder, functional changes at the cellular or systemic level, or the emotional toll on the patient.

The intention of this Prospectus is to engage artists in the process of creating art that speaks to the tangible and intangible consequences of disorders of the brain and spinal fluid, particularly those impacted by cerebrospinal fluid disorders.  The most commonly known CSF disorder is Hydrocephalus, but there are numerous others that fall under this category.  We are asking artists to think deeply about the physical, emotional and psychological toll on patients and their families experiencing one of these disorders, to see beyond the obvious, and how through their artistic rendering, physicians, clinicians and caregivers can better understand and relate to the tacit manifestations of these disorders.  Links to reference material will be at the end of this Prospectus.

The art exhibition will be held simultaneously with the 4thAnnual CSF Disorders Symposium sponsored by the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Department of Neurosurgery at Brown to be held on June 15, 2019 at the Alpert Medical School.  The art exhibition will be on display at the Alpert Medical School Gallery, 222 Richmond Street, Providence, Rhode Island from June 14 – August 21, 2019.

Due to gallery restrictions, only 2-D work can be accepted to this exhibit.  

Juror:  Mary Dondero, Interdisciplinary Artist, Professor of Art, Bridgewater State University
(see bio below)


1stPrize $300
2ndPrize $200
3rdPrize $100

Please read this prospectus carefully and only consider submitting work if you are able to comply with the requirements and timetable outlined in this document.


Registration Deadline:  Friday, May 3, 2019
Notification of Acceptance: On or before May 17, 2019 via email. No inquires please. All decisions are final.
Drop off: Monday, June 10, 2019 10am – 4pm EST
Exhibition:  Thursday, June 13, 2019 – Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Opening Reception and Awards: Friday, June 14, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm EST
Pick up: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10am – 4pm EST

Eligibility: Artists whose work fits within the criteria described above may apply. Must be 18 years or older. Applications will be reviewed by the juror to assess the quality and appropriateness of the artist’s work and ability to work within the parameters and criteria for this exhibit. It is expected that artists will research this topic and use the information to help with their process in creating artwork that is relevant to this exhibit.

Artwork:  Only 2D media is eligible. No video entries or installation pieces will be accepted. Artwork previously exhibited with ALRI is not permitted. All work must be original. Work found to be copied from copyrighted work will not be hung. Reprints from non-copyrighted work are also not permitted. All work must be exhibition ready to install with the appropriate hardware. No saw-tooth hangers or clips. Work that does not adhere to the guidelines, or is deemed not to be a faithful representation of the image for jurying, will not be exhibited. Artwork must be appropriate for viewers of all ages. Accepted work MUST remain in the Gallery for the duration of the exhibit.

Size Limit:Maximum size up to 48″ wide x 72″ high including frame. Artists may have multiple pieces (diptych, triptych etc.) to make up one work.

Submission Fee: Artists may submit up to 3 artworks for $30. ALRI Members may submit up to 3 artworks for $25. (ALRI members have been sent a coupon code via email. If you are an ALRI member and did not receive the code, please contact All CaFE fees are non-refundable, and must be paid by credit/debit card. Payment of those fees indicates the acknowledgement of the terms and conditions of the exhibition.

Sales & Commissions: Sales are encouraged. Work may be for sale or listed as not for sale (NFS); however, NOwork may be listed as Price on Request (POR). Prices provided by the artist should reflect the 40% commission taken by ALRI on all artwork sold. Artists will be paid their 60% percentage of the sale by ALRI within 30 calendar days after the exhibition closes.

Liability – Legal Agreement & Participant’s Waiver: Submission of work automatically waives any claim for damage or loss against ALRI, The Alpert Medical School of Brown University, the Department of Neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital including the officers, members, and employees. All reasonable care will be exercised in handling all artwork, however, ALRI will not assume any liability for loss or damage while on exhibit. Work should be independently insured by the artist.

Usage Rights: The artist retains all copyright interests or claims that they have in their art. By submitting images, you give ALRI the right to use and reproduce the images to market and document the exhibition, and to enable the image to be part of an online exhibition. Artist’s recognition is provided with any use. ALRI reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control. Payment of the submission fee indicates acknowledgement of all terms and conditions.

In-Person Delivery of Accepted Work: All in-person deliveries will be made Monday, June 10, 2019 between 10 AM and 4 PM at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 222 Richmond Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903.

 Shipment of Accepted Work: Shipped deliveries must arrive at a designated UPS facility in Rhode Island by Wednesday, June 5, 2019 based on specific instructions that will be communicated via e-mail to those artists whose work is accepted. Each box shipped must be accompanied by a prepaid, return shipment label which is placed in an envelope inside the box. Please make sure that the box and materials that you use will adequately protect your work, and DO NOT use Styrofoam peanuts or their equivalents in packing.  A $15 storage and handling fee will be charged for each shipped box.

Return of Work: Participating artists who delivered their art in person will need to pick it up on Thursday, August 22, 2019 between 10 AM and 3 PM at the Alpert Medical School Gallery. Those who shipped their art will have it returned to them in the packaging in which it was sent using its prepaid return shipping label.

If ALRI, UPS, or other carrier determines that the packaging is not adequate to safely ship the art back to the artist, ALRI will contact the artist. The artist must notify ALRI in writing of any changes in their contact information, or their intended place or time of return of their art, prior to the end of the exhibition. The artist is solely responsible for any time, materials, storage, shipment, or other charges that may arise from inadequate packaging, delayed or redirected shipments, nonresponse of the artist, or any other artist requests. All additional charges must be paid prior to the return of the art.

About the Juror:

Mary Dondero is an interdisciplinary artist whose focus is on large-scale works on paper, mixed media, and photography.   Ms. Dondero earned her B.F.A. at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, where she concentrated in Graphic Design, Printmaking and Photography.  She also holds an M.A.T. from Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. from U-Mass Dartmouth.

Ms. Dondero is currently a full-time, tenured faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. During her 2011 sabbatical from teaching, she was awarded “Artist in Residence” at Zion National Park in Utah. This resulted in a body of work titled “Perception, Time & Memory”, with one of the resulting paintings now held in the permanent collection at Zion Human History Museum, Springdale, UT.

Ms. Dondero’s artwork is regularly exhibited at Atelier Gallery in Newport, RI.  She has held exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and her work is held in several collections, such as the permanent collection of Naestved International Print Studio in Denmark, Bridgewater State University, the Newport Art Museum RI, Healing Arts at RI Hospital, and the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in New Hampshire. This past winter Ms. Dondero’s work was exhibited in several venues:  the Barrett Center in Poughkeepsie-NY, the Fotofoto Gallery in Huntington, NY and at the prestigious and historic landmark, the St. Botolph Club in Boston.

In 2005, Ms. Dondero presented her photo-installation, ‘Dust’ at the Southeast Society of Photographic Educators Conference in Virginia.  In 2016 the Newport Art Museum presented Dondero’s “Small Points in Time” as a solo exhibit. This exhibit was predominantly of her large-scale pastel drawings.

For the past seven years Ms. Dondero has served as Curator and Chair of Exhibitions at the Bristol Art Museum where she is a member on the Board of Directors. In this capacity, she established the Museum’s permanent collections policy. Additionally, she is one of the founding members of Imago Foundation for the Arts in Warren, RI.

Art League Rhode Island has an 18-year history of supporting artists and the arts, and is honored to be one of five resident arts companies in The Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS) complex.

Want to become an ALRI Member? ALRI membership offers many benefits to artists. If you would like to explore ALRI and join as a Member, please visit Get Involved.

Questions: Contact or call (401) 861-0500. To learn about other ALRI exhibits and programs visit the menu at the top of the page.

Reference List for more information about Brain and Spinal Fluid Disorders