See Me: Portraits of Neurofibromatosis
Author: Rockhurst University, Rachel Mindrup
Published On: 09/29/2023
Rachel Mindrup’s contemporary painting practice is about the study of the figure and portraiture in art and its relation to medicine, healing, and identity. Mindrup, who is an associate professor of drawing and painting and the Richard L. Deming, MD Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities at Creighton University, paints portraits of individuals from across the United States and world with neurofibromatosis (known as NF)—a genetic condition that can affect the body in a variety of ways. Mindrup’s NF series is inspired by her son Henry’s NF diagnosis and was the motivation for this ongoing project. The objective of “See Me” is to educate others about NF, help viewers truly “see” the people depicted in this series of works beyond a diagnosis or disfigurement, and better understand others’ (and our own) unique strengths and personal challenges. Each person depicted in this temporary exhibition has helped decide how to be represented and has written his or her own biography, deciding what to share about life with NF.