UK HealthCare

Donate Life KY’s 'Faces of Donation' Art Exhibit Unveiled at UK Chandler Hospital

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image of gallery wall in Chandler hospital
image of portrait from Faces of Donation series.
image of hospital worker looking at portraits
image of portrait from Faces of Donation series.
image of portrait from Faces of Donation series.
image of portrait from Faces of Donation series.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2022) – To help kick off the start of Donate Life Month in April, Donate Life KY and UK Arts in HealthCare have partnered to display the “Faces of Donation” exhibit at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital’s Hamilton Gallery through April 29. The Donate Life KY exhibit features portraits of local Black organ donors, donor families, recipients, and physicians, illustrated by Louisville artist and University of Kentucky graduate Charles Rice, creator of "ArtbyRice." Each portrait represents someone in Kentucky who has been impacted by organ donation.

“We are so proud to be able to help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation through this creative initiative,” said Allen Gazaway, community educator with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates. “There are nearly 1,000 people on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ in Kentucky, and only 63% of Kentuckians are registered to be organ donors and help save lives. After the portraits are displayed at the hospital, they will then go on to be shown at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, which we know will help us reach even more people in the Lexington area and help make organ donation an important topic of conversation among families.”

While Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates saw record-breaking numbers of organ donors in 2021, statistically, those within Black communities are less likely to register to become a donor. Organ donation is most successful if donors and recipients are among the same ethnicities, and in 2020, the Black community accounted for 28% of the U.S. transplant waiting list. This exhibit aims to raise awareness of the importance of becoming a donor and how individuals can save lives when joining the registry.

“Visual art is a powerful way to communicate. It affords us the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation through a different medium. The 'Faces of Donation' exhibit exemplifies the old adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ When we see the faces of those individuals impacted by organ donation, we connect with them, and the message becomes much more meaningful,” said Jason Akhtarekhavari, manager for UK Arts in HealthCare.

This “Faces of Donation” exhibit is the second phase of KODA's recent multicultural "Be the One" campaign, aiming to raise awareness around organ donation and transplantation within Black communities throughout the state. Through these efforts, Donate Life KY has helped individuals from diverse backgrounds move past the potential hesitancies of becoming a registered donor and being "the one" who could help give the gift of life.

The "Faces of Donation" exhibit will be on display in UK Chandler Hospital’s Hamilton Gallery until April 29. On May 6, the exhibit will reopen to the public in the Meeting Room Gallery at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center in Lexington. The exhibit will close in Lexington on June 22.

To learn more about Donate Life KY, visit https://donatelifeky.org/.

About Donate Life KY:

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is an organ procurement organization whose mission is to provide organs and tissues to those in need while maintaining a profound respect for those who gave. The mission of Trust For Life (TFL) is to educate and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors while obtaining a driver’s license and beyond. These organizations partner in education and outreach and use the combined national Donate Life brand; learn more at www.donatelifeky.org.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.