The Meridian International Center and UAE Embassy opened Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates at the end of May. Shortly after the opening, two of the artists - Zeinab Al Hashemi and Khalid Mezaina - featured in the exhibit were gracious enough to visit patients here, along with a representative from the UAE Embassy and the exhibit's curator.
The artists were able to tour the Sheikh Zayed Institute, making stops in the lab, 3D printing room and bioengineering space. Dr. Marius Linguraru led the group and spoke about Down Syndrome facial recognition software, the power of the 3D models used before surgery and the importance of incorporating multiple disciplines in order to further innovation – doctors, engineers, scientists and maybe even artists.
Following their tour, the artists headed to the main atrium where they chatted with kids and helped them create their own artwork. They started with a short introduction to pattern making, and demonstrated by cutting patterns out of colored paper.
Three year old Dana was especially excited to join in on the art-making. First treated back in 2011 by the neurology team, she and her family were in town from Abu Dhabi for a follow up visit. Dana was all smiles and loved coloring (and tearing) all of the paper. Together, with the help of her mother and the artists, she created something beautiful.