Vanessa Ruiz


Anatomical artist and curator Vanessa Ruiz shares how she fulfilled her dream to take anatomy to the streets, making medical illustration-- and the resulting public knowledge of the human body-- intersect with contemporary art.


Vanessa Ruiz is currently a director of design at Wolters Kluwer Clinical Effectiveness, creating engaging experiences to help patients understand their health. Vanessa is the driving force behind Street Anatomy, a blog that aggregates works that explore the intersection of art and medical illustration. Since its 2007 launch, Street Anatomy has published more than one thousand posts, revealing human anatomy in pencil drawings, tattoos, 3-D printing, and interior design, among other media. Fascinated by the surge in street art that was happening in Chicago while she pursued a master’s degree in biomedical visualization at the University of Illinois, Vanessa found a lack of public knowledge about the profession. She created Street Anatomy in the hopes of taking medical illustration into more public spaces and built an online resource for the public to discover contemporary anatomical art that gained instant popularity. Vanessa was a Speaker at TEDMED 2015 and currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board. 


The future of infusing art into anatomy
Ruiz V. TEDMED Blog. 2016.

Anatomy for Everybody
Chen E. The Scientist. 2014.

Dissecting Art; Intersecting Anatomy
Schalecamp P. 2013. (video)

Bones & Blood Make Blog Pop Art: Medical Illustrator Jared Interviews Vanessa Ruiz
Travnicek J. Fortnight Journal. 2012.

Underneath It All: Medical illustration + pop culture = Web log
Knufken K. USD Magazine. 2008.


Anatomies: A cultural history of the human body.
Aldersey-Williams H. W. W. Norton & Company. 2014.

Human Anatomy (From the Renaissance to the Digital Age).
Rifkin BA, Ackerman MJ. W. W. Norton & Company. 2014.

Dream Anatomy.
Sappol M. National Institutes of Health. 2006.

Bourgery: Atlas of Anatomy and Surgery, Volume 2.
Le Minor J, Sick H. Taschen. 2015

Anatomy in Black. 
Evans E. Lotus Pub. 2015.
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Artistic Anatomy Curator