Photos by Eric Younghans | USF Health Communications, Will Lytch | USF Institute for Research in Art

In 2012, I developed Art In Health, an initiative at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, in collaboration with museum staff, faculty from USF’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, and faculty and administrators from USF Health. Art In Health generated programming at the intersection of the arts and healthcare and was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in its second year.   

The Art of Attending is an extra-curricular series of workshops designed to train USF Health students in observation, communication and critical thinking skills through arts-based training. Between 2012 and 2016, more than 200 students from disciplines including medicine, public health, pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, social work and speech-language pathology participated in the workshops. 

The Art of Attending uses the inquiry-based art discovery method Visual Thinking Strategies in combination with activities drawn from disciplines of studio art, dance and music, led by USF faculty and instructors Dolores Coe, Bruce Marsh, Merry Lynn Morris and Paul Reller. 


Voeller, M. “The Art of Attending: Arts-Based Observation Training for Health Professions Students at the University of South Florida.” In Academics, Artists, Museums: 21stCentury Partnerships, ed. I. Costache and C. Kunny, Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2018. 

Fletcher, K.A., Bedwell, W.L., Voeller, M., Coe, D., Morris, M.L., Marsh, B., Zambroski, C. “The Art of Critical Thinking in Nursing: a Novel Multi-modal Humanities Curriculum.” Medical Science Educator, Jan 2018.