After six years of chronic illness and seeing nearly thirty doctors, Chris Houltberg underwent a Total Pancreatectomy with Auto Islet Transplant: an incredibly complex surgery where the pancreas is removed and processed to extract cells that are then placed in the liver. This experience prompted Chris, an artist and designer, to start the project Extensive Alterations to re-imagine the patterns and rhythms of living with chronic illness and recovery from an organ transplant. He uses medicine bottles, feeding tubes, and images of removed organs to design intricate collages and installations that explore elements such as pain, empathy, and suffering that he experienced during his illness and treatment.
In this unique event, Chris will meet the doctors who treated him for a public conversation about the intersections of aesthetics and medicine as well as the human connection between doctor and patient. With Dr. Janine Pingle (Internist), Dr. Greg Beilman (Surgeon) and Dr. Melena Bellin (Endocrinologist). The panel discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Jon Halberg. It will be accompanied by an in-person pop-up exhibition of the project at the Weisman Art Museum.