WOCNext 2024 Fistula Challenge Winners!

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses and other visionary pioneers in wound care, welcome to a momentous occasion from the WOCNext 2024 conference—the winners of the Fistula Solution Wound Drawing Contest! In this forum, where knowledge and camaraderie intertwine, we celebrate the fusion of skill, precision, and the art of healing. Each entry embodied a narrative of hope and resilience, capturing the intricate artistry and profound impact of wound management. From the masses, five pieces of art stood out from the rest.

Starting Strong with our Honorable Mention:

The honorable mention of the competition goes to a delightfully whimsical and unexpectedly poignant piece by Sonny Tropiano, the son of one of the convention center staff. This cartoony depiction of a stomach in great pain, complete with arms, legs, and a crutch, is a masterstroke of creativity. With its head wrapped in a bandage and an expression of comical distress, the stomach becomes an endearing character that resonates with viewers on multiple levels. Tropiano has brilliantly infused this drawing with a sense of light-heartedness, turning a typically somber subject into a playful yet empathetic narrative. It's a refreshing reminder that even in the midst of suffering, there is room for laughter and levity, making this work a charming and memorable contribution to the competition.

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Fourth Place:

Emily Greenstein's entry is a delightful blend of complexity and humor that captivates from the first glance. This multifaceted wound, complete with an ostomy pouch and multiple stomas, is meticulously detailed, showcasing Greenstein's technical prowess. Yet, it’s the whimsical touch that truly sets this piece apart: a tattoo across the top of the abdomen playfully declares, "Don't pet the fluffy cows," accompanied by an adorable cow and some grass. This unexpected and humorous addition adds a lighthearted twist to an otherwise intricate medical illustration, making it both endearing and memorable. It really makes us ask: “Why shouldn’t we pet the fluffy cows?” And to that we say: “they’re experts at moos-behaving!”

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Third Place:

Nicole Harris's drawing of an enteric fistula, where effluent flows with effortless grace into a wound bed, is a testament to her mastery of both anatomical detail and artistic expression. Echoing the haunting precision of Jenny Saville and the emotive depth of Lucian Freud, Harris captures the visceral reality of medical conditions with a poignant clarity. The triangular pattern of effluent lends a geometric elegance to the composition, drawing viewers into a contemplative exploration of resilience. Harris's ability to infuse the depiction with subtle layers of meaning, beyond mere representation, elevates this piece to a profound reflection on the human experience. And though we can't help but wonder if Harris might have known our fondness for the Minnesota Vikings, her inclusion of such imagery adds a whimsical touch that makes the artwork all the more memorable and engaging.

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Second Place:

Olga Aguilera's drawing of an open wound, featuring a stoma, fistula, infected mesh, and drainage in vivid shades of red, yellow, pink, and orange, is a compelling fusion of medical detail and artistic brilliance. Echoing the visceral impact of Francis Bacon and the chromatic intensity of Georgia O'Keeffe, Aguilera transforms a challenging scene into a vibrant tableau of resilience and healing. Her use of color breathes life into the wound, inviting viewers to explore the complex interplay of suffering and recovery. This work not only showcases Aguilera's technical skill but also her ability to evoke profound emotional responses, securing her place as a distinctive voice in contemporary art.

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And Last but not Least: Our First Place Winner!

Dr. Mary Arnold Long's drawing of a man with a sorrowful face, an ostomy pouch, and a large, effluent-spewing abdominal wound stands as a modern masterpiece, echoing the evocative power of great artists like Frida Kahlo and Egon Schiele. Dr. Long’s deft use of line and shadow captures the intense emotion and stark reality of her subject's experience, compelling viewers to confront the raw human condition. The juxtaposition of the wound with the deeply expressive face creates a powerful narrative of vulnerability and resilience, marking this work as a poignant and unforgettable contribution to contemporary art.

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As we wrap up this exhilarating art exhibition, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the incredibly talented artists who participated. Your exceptional skills and profound insights have brilliantly illuminated the complexities of wound care with unparalleled artistry. Each piece displayed here today is a testament to your dedication and creativity, enriching our understanding and appreciation of the human experience in profound ways. Thank you for sharing your remarkable talents and making this exhibition an absolutely thrilling success!