By day, Harborview Medical Center’s artists are peering at x-rays, listening to heartbeats through stethoscopes, and finessing computer code.

On a sunny summer day, a group of strangers gathered on Harborview Medical Center’s west side. They ignored the drone of Interstate 5 below and even the glorious panorama of downtown and beyond.

Five researchers from the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington were teamed with local Seattle playwrights for the creation of five intriguing short plays exploring science and what it means to be human.

For Nancy Coleman, a favorite part of being an artist is experimenting with techniques, such as encaustic (beeswax) painting, using a scanner as a camera, and printing on aluminum panels.

On her lunch break, Katharine Barrett sought an island of tranquility away from the bustle of Harborview Medical Center’s Pathology Department.

In a dimly lit basement room, Kate Sweeney is working cheek by jowl with renowned orthopedic surgeon Sigvard Hansen. They’re placing a screw in a patient’s ankle.


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