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The Art of Healing: Paintings by Arturo Garcia


For Arturo Garcia, healing truly became an art.

In December 2012, Garcia was struck by debilitating abdominal pains while at his bartending job in Lakewood.  Fighting through the last hour of his shift, Garcia admitted himself to the emergency department at University of Colorado Hospital, where doctors identified an ampullary tumor near his pancreas.  After undergoing a specialized surgery called the Whipple procedure, Garcia’s prognosis was good—until he was diagnosed with a severe infection.  As he lay in bed with drainage tubes protruding from his body and chemotherapy on the horizon, Garcia made the choice to completely change the way he framed his existence.  

That day, he decided to live life on his own terms, focus on his passion for painting and inspire others battling disease. Now, Garcia is 100 percent cancer-free.  He owns an art gallery in Denver and contributed all of the incredible images featured in this exhibit.

The University of Colorado Department of Surgery 2017 Annual Report​ communicates the dedication of a team of surgeons and caregivers to their vision of improving lives.  We thank Professor Richard D. Schulick, MD, MBA, FACS, the Aragón/Gonzalez-Gíustí Chair of Surgery, for his support of this exhibit.

Surgery is a skillful science refined through a lifetime of learning.  Healing, however, is something less tangible. It is not exact. It requires seeing beyond the actions of a procedure to envision the incredible life left to live beyond the operating table. Healing is an art.  Behind each of Garcia's paintings lies the skillful hands of a surgeon, a compassionate team of caregivers and, above all, the indomitable will of each patient to live an extraordinary life.

“Art helps sick people. The very least that I can do is try to give back what was given to me.”​
 Arturo Garcia​

On display through August 16, 2018.
Reception with the artist, surgeons and patients on Friday June 22 from 5:00-7:00pm

The Art Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion
13080 E. 19th Ave.  Aurora, CO  80045
Hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm
Free and open to the public