Vanessa Ruiz, a 2010 master’s graduate in biomedical visualization, is the driving force behind Street Anatomy, an online art gallery that showcases human anatomy in art, design and pop culture.
“As the boundary between science and art blurs, it is no longer sufficient to talk about either on their own. We need to see how each informs the other,” Ruiz writes in a recent blog for the TEDMED Visionaries Series.
Since its 2007 launch, Street Anatomy has published more than 1,000 posts, featuring human anatomy in drawings, tattoos, 3-D printing, interior design, fashion and other media.
Ruiz conceived Street Anatomy as an AHS student, fascinated by the surge in street art and the lack of public knowledge about the profession of medical illustration. Today, her website is a fully branded platform with an international following and nearly 100,000 followers on Facebook (Street Anatomy is also on Instagram and Twitter).
Ruiz was a featured speaker in November 2015 at TEDMED 2015 in Palm Springs, California. Her speech was live-streamed to more than 200,000 viewers in some 140 countries.
After graduation, Ruiz was associate art director, then senior art director, at AbelsonTaylor healthcare marketing agency. She now works in healthcare user interface and product design.
“Medical illustration will always hold a special place in my art because it not only teaches, but inspires,” Ruiz says in her TEDMED Talk. “Whether it be through cartoons, body painting, or street art, anatomical art has the power to reach far beyond the pages of a medical textbook … ultimately connecting our innermost selves with our bodies through art.”