Teaching

 

Teaching Experience

Began with pilot life drawing course in 1982 while studying human anatomy at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine. Continued in New York the following year at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Was one of the pioneer developers for Narrative Medicine Program by invitation from Dr. Hamilton Southworth, then Chief of General Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Worked with Dr. Eric Marcus and Dr. Rita Charon to develop the visual section of the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia. Worked at Columbia with fourth year medical students who elected to do preceptorships. Taught at Columbia from 1985 to 2005, at The New York University School of Medicine from 2003 to 2008, at Columbia University from 2003-2005, at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 2008-2009.

Philosophy of Teaching

Whether the study is life drawing, mixed media painting or individual instruction, my fundamental pedagogic approach is constant:  realization of a particular person or situation by means of alternating subjective and objective exercises, emphasizing observation and expression. Regular practice of interactive group critiques is an essential part of the process.

STUDENT WORK:

The process of gross dissection was a progressive fragmentation of the body to the level of minutia. But while fragmentation made dissection more tolerable it also reduced the body to a morbid inventory........I found myself needing somehow to reaffirm the vitality of these parts and to relate them to the living whole........; The drawing studio answered that need.....; The activity of drawing (the nude model), refusing and reanimating the body, served to reframe my task in the anatomy lab and helped me to cope with the violence and depersonalization of bodily fragmentation.
Dr. William Wu , New York, former student of Barbara Kerstetter at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons


I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the class. As a neuroscience graduate student, it was very refreshing to get to have that creative outlet where I could get an artist's perspective on some of my work. Thanks again and hopefully the class will be offered next year.
Vitria Adisetiyo, New York University School of Medicine, 2009


I am so glad to hear that you are still working with the medical community. The life drawing class was a fantastic experience for me. In fact, I included a brief vignette from the class in my essay for my residency application. My decision to go into radiology was partly because the specialty is so anatomy based, and I like that it requires an understanding of visual-spatial relationships.
Emily Tsai, May, 2011, Medical student, NYU


Barbara Kerstetter's art is thoughtful, beautiful, energetic, and often suggests a narrative that draws the viewer in for closer study. As a teacher, Barbara asks her students to observe, to observe closely and actively, and in doing so, to find the connections below the surface of things. It has now been many years since my first efforts, under Barbara's tutelage, to capture the story that I saw before me in charcoal; however, those lessons daily inform the way I interact with the people and objects around me.
Dr. Dena Bravata,


I started playing with the technique of drawing without looking away from the subject at the paper, with just checking where I am on the paper periodically, so as to keep from getting too distorted. I had enjoyed that process when you introduced it in your class, and it's startling now to see how much more direct and "lifelike" the resulting drawings are. I'd like to explore that approach some more.....
Leon Axel, MD, PhD,

Two Nudes by Leon Axel

 PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN:  AXEL


 

Life Drawing_A Vassar_2 
“I truly enjoyed my drawing classes with Barbara. Barbara introduced fullness, gravity and vitality to my life drawings. Through a variety of drawing techniques, ranging from gesture drawings to contour drawings, I have come to appreciate the beauty and complexity of a human body and the emotions displayed in a posture, arm movement or a tilt of a head. I have observed tremendous improvement in me and other students within a matter of a few weeks. Barbara also makes the class entertaining by bringing drawing by famous artists and sharing her own experiences with us. Thanks to her classes, my drawings of a human body are no longer stiff and disconnected”emotions displayed in a posture, arm movement or a tilt of a head. I have observed tremendous improvement in me and other students within a matter of a few weeks. Barbara also makes the class entertaining by bringing drawing by famous artists and sharing her own experiences with us. Thanks to her classes, my drawings of a human body are no longer stiff and disconnected

: Aruna Vassar, Columbia University

 

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Painting of Operating Room, Tamara Lee, MD

Tamara_Lee_painting[1] 

 

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  • 2018:Proposed watercolor course; Lotus Tours,  RhoneRiver  Cruise. Provence, France___________________________________________________________
  • 2016: Drawing for Medical Personnel at Mt. Sinai
    Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
  • 2015: Drawing for Medical Personnel at Mt. Sinai
    Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
  •  2010: Drawing, The Creative Center, New York, N.Y.https://www.chashama.org/exhibit_apps/new
  • 2009: Life drawing, Spring Studio, New York, N.Y.
  • 1982-2009: Private individual and group lessons: Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y.
  • 2005-2008: New York University Langone Medical Center School of Medicine: Life Drawing to Medical Students and Personnel
  • 2007-8: Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Life Drawing for Medical Personnel and Social Workers for the World Trade Center Respondents’ Program
  • 2005-2006: Columbia University, life drawing for pre-med students
  • 2003- Organized and curated exhibition of my students’ drawings from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons with those of NYU’s   School of Medicine,  at Sandaram Tagore Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1985-2006: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, N.Y. : life drawing seminar
  • 2004-2006: New York University Medical College: life drawing, humanities seminar
  • 1992-96: Preceptorships with fourth- year students at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, N.Y.
  • 1996-98: Architect Thierry Despont and Staff, New York, life drawing
  • 1994: Trevor Day School, New York, N.Y., group painting to second grade project
  • 1991-92: Marymount College, New York, N.Y.: mixed media painting
  • 1982-83: Georgetown University School of Medicine : life drawing
  • 1981-82: Mount Vernon College, Washington, D.C.: water color, life drawing
  • 1981-82: Georgetown University Hospital, staff of plastic surgeons, Dr. William Little: life drawing
  • 1981-82:Guest Speaker, American University Department of Fine Arts, 1980

 

My Drawings

~ please click on a thumbnail to view the full size painting with title and details ~

Male, conte crayon