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Combining art and science in a medical practice – Victoria News

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– Words by Kathy Michaels Photographs by Phil McLachlan

“My life has been simple — run fast, turn left,” Dr. Andrew Dargie said over coffee one day in late fall, offering up one last thought on his work in the Okanagan and the path he took to get here.

It was an endearing understatement from someone who is clearly more comfortable with taking on big tasks than boasting about how he completed them. As a former All-American sprinter who earned a full-ride scholarship at Stanford University, speed is certainly one of the defining points of Andrew’s life. He competed for Team Canada numerous times, turning left over and over again as he rounded a track with some of the fastest people on the planet.

“Simple,” however, is where the sports metaphor falls apart.

For all his athletic abilities, academics were a priority for Andrew, who, after Stanford, obtained his medical doctor designation from the University of Calgary. In a newspaper article about him from that time in his life, a third dimension of his personality became clear. He is a compassionate individual. During medical school he found time to take on a meaningful volunteer commitment with the school’s aboriginal health program. For this work he was awarded the Canadian Student Athlete Community Service Award.

His next step was entering vascular surgery residency in Manitoba.

Ultimately, he said, “I realized that I loved acute care medicine, but I didn’t love the operating room. So I transferred residency programs and obtained my CCFP designation and moved to the Okanagan.”

Since arriving, he’s worked as an emergency room physician at Penticton Regional Hospital as well as South Okanagan General Hospital. At the latter location, he is the department head of Emergency Medicine.

While in the Okanagan, Andrew took on another passion and is bringing to it the same focus and dedication he has for everything else. This passion is medical aesthetics. In addition to his ER work, he now practises advanced medical aesthetics in both Kelowna and Vernon.

“I decided I love performing procedures and found something to help balance working in emergency,” he said. “It’s personally satisfying. I’m able to offer procedures that are a blend of art and science and people are appreciative and happy.”

It’s an interesting time in a rapidly expanding industry. Not so long ago, cosmetic surgery was the clear-cut facial rejuvenation strategy.

This can be a definitive solution to reduce the signs of aging, albeit an invasive, sometimes painful experience typically reserved for the socially elite and requiring significant down time for recovery.

Now, more people are seeking anti-aging services that are less invasive, have less down time and are more affordable. Just a few facial rejuvenation techniques that Andrew offers are botox, dysport, fillers and platelet-rich plasma injections. The clinics he works at offer lasers, CoolSculpting, microdermabrasions and chemical peels, amongst numerous other procedures and skin-care treatments.

While minimally invasive rejuvenation procedures are in high demand, the relative newness of the industry has created some issues and it is not as closely regulated as it perhaps should be. This was made plain in recent months as a non-medical civilian in the Vancouver area passed herself off as a doctor and injected dermal fillers into countless unwitting clients at a spa. She used an altered photocopy of a College Certificate of Licensure to convince medical suppliers that she had a medical licence and was certified to practise in British Columbia. In any other field of medicine it would sound ludicrous, but that it happened at all lays bare the fact that checks and balances are lacking.

That’s something Andrew worries about. And this is why he founded Aesthetics Training Canada, which offers “the botox course” and “the filler course.”

“Ensuring medical professionals are properly trained is of the utmost importance. There are people injecting without any formal training in facial anatomy or rejuvenation. I said, how can I change this and provide a safe and standardized way for medical professionals to expand their scope of practice to include medical aesthetics?” That was the impetus for offering these new comprehensive courses.

There are also clear gaps in proper medical care.

“We have patients come in who have been getting procedures elsewhere for years, and when I go to take them through the consent process, they say, ‘Wait, there are risks with these procedures? I was told there were zero risks,’” Andrew said. “This shocks me. That’s not proper medicine and it really bothers me. Some people think about patients in terms of syringes or units. Or some prioritize how fast they can get a patient in and out of the door. This type of practice doesn’t warn patients that there are, in fact, risks to consider.”

To start creating the change he wants to see in the industry, each of Andrew’s treatment rooms has anatomy cards so he can take patients through what he’s doing, what the risks are and how they can be mitigated.

“There are all sorts of things we can do to optimize patient care,” he said. “If I’m in emergency, whether it’s something as simple as cutting out a mole, or something more complicated like a cardioversion, we always take people through the risks and benefits, and it should be no different in medical aesthetics. Patients must consent and they must be educated that these are not completely harmless procedures and should be performed by experienced medical professionals only.”

Adverse events can occur and these can be devastating, Andrew said. The results of shoddy, haphazardly conducted work can be disfiguring or worse — even blinding — and he wants to prevent this.

He also wants to bring back a more natural look.

“People that come to see me get full transparency, and a natural look,” he said.

The day before the interview, Andrew said he had turned away four patients who had come in seeking lip filler treatment.

He’d told them, “I think your lips are already full enough and we want you to look natural.”

“They may go down the street and get that duck lip. But our patients aren’t getting that. They’re going to get an honest and fair assessment and can expect a refreshed, natural look.”

Interestingly, the four who were turned away were receptive to feedback and appreciated hearing his honest and clear communication.

Andrew has accomplished a lot in his life and is bound to take on more. What makes him different than others, however, is that he makes things look easy. He has a light and pleasant demeanour that puts people speaking to him at ease. If you didn’t know better, it would be possible to believe that he did have a simple life, remarkable only by his ability to go fast and turn left.

More info at www.drdargie.com

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students – Surrey Now-Leader

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A Clayton Heights Secondary teacher has been recognized with a provincial award.

Visual arts teacher Dennis Memmott was awarded the British Columbia Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. The NAEA is a professional membership organization for visual arts teachers.

Memmott was given the honour “in recognition of his creative and thought-provoking work with youth in the arts,” according to a press release.

Memmott said the award is special to him because it was granted by his fellow art teachers.

“It’s kind of an affirmation that the career shift that I made – from doing youth work to combining my passion for art and my passion to see youth succeed – it makes me go, ‘I made the right decision.’ I think I have the best job in the world.”

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student a ‘stand-out’ talent

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student represents at Vancouver Model United Nations

Memmott said, growing up, art was always his thing.

“I never took art in high school,” he said. “I just did art on the side.” That side included photography through skateboarding and snowboarding.

Memmott teaches five photography courses and likes to push the digital image envelope through solargraphy (long exposures with homemade pinhole cameras) and glitch art (digital manipulation of an image’s code).

“I play around with anything I can make an image with,” Memmott added.

Memmott said he challenges his students to push that envelope too.

“So many techniques in photography came out of accidents and experiments,” he said. “So that’s the kind of mindset I try to get them in – sometimes your accidents are better than what you meant to do.”

Memmott started teaching in Surrey in 2006, first at Princess Margaret Secondary before moving to Clayton Heights.

Memmott will receive the award at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis at the end of March.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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Burnaby welcomes new public art by Ken Lum – Burnaby Now

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The bronze horse looking out over the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds is far from your usual equestrian statue.

It’s neither a noble steed bearing royalty nor a victorious warhorse carrying the triumphant general.

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Ken Lum with his work, The Retried Draft Horse and the Last Pulled Log, at the Kings Crossing Development at Kingsway and Edmonds. – Julie MacLellan

It’s an old horse with a sway back, caught in the act of dropping to the ground for a rest. It still wears its yoke, a sign of the work it has done for years, logging the wilderness that used to occupy the very ground on which it sits.

Ken Lum stands next to the statue, rubbing the yoke with his fingers – an act he hopes will become the “good luck” touch for visitors who will cross paths with his art in the years to come.

The Retired Draft Horse and the Last Pulled Log is a new piece of public art, commissioned by the City of Burnaby and Cressey Development Group and newly installed in the plaza at the new Kings Crossing development site. (An official unveiling ceremony is set for the morning of Monday, March 2.)

“I wanted it to evoke a past but also to address today. I didn’t want it to be about just what we have lost,” Lum says.

Rather, he says, he sees the work as an allegory that may speak to progress and change in the city and spur reflection of what we have built out of the wooded land that used to occupy this urban space.

The internationally acclaimed artist, born and raised in East Van, is most known in Vancouver as the creator of the East Van cross, formally known as the Monument to East Vancouver. Lum, who’s now serving as the chair of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in Philadelphia, is back in the Lower Mainland for the launch of his new book, Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life 1991-2018 – and, of course, for the installation of his new sculpture in Burnaby.

Lum’s quest to conceive a sculpture based on Burnaby’s history led him to a search of historical photographs, inspiring several ideas that he discarded for various reasons. Lakes and woods? Too romantic. The old Interurban tram? No, now we have SkyTrain. Mid-century architecture? No, an architectural-inspired piece seemed the wrong fit for the development.

Delving into Burnaby’s labour history gave him a few more ideas. He considered the donkey engines they used to use in logging, which he notes had an interesting modernist shape.

Then he hit upon the horses. He was familiar with the massive Percherons and Clydesdales who hauled giant wagonloads of produce down to the Fraser River for shipment out to English Bay and beyond.

But Lum didn’t hit upon the final design for his statue until he happened, by chance, to see a picture on the Internet of a sitting horse.

“I thought, ‘I didn’t know horses sat,’” he says.

As it turns out, they don’t; sitting is an unnatural action for a horse, and it only happens for a moment while the animal is transitioning from standing to lying down, or vice versa.

Lum liked the idea of a sitting horse who would “stand sentinel” at the busy intersection, looking out at traffic.

The piece evokes the history of equestrian statuary, Lum notes, but completely turns it on its head.

“Equestrian statues are really symbols of power, but this is a beast of burden,” he says, noting it’s an obviously older horse, wearing a yoke. “It’s not about the upper classes. It’s about the labouring classes.”

The Retired Draft Horse, Ken Lum
The Retired Draft Horse looks out over Kingsway and Edmonds from the Kings Crossing development. – Julie MacLellan

Lum says that fits well with Burnaby’s history, which has been strongly working-class, and with its present. The artist, who was born in Vancouver in 1956, says the Edmonds neighbourhood now reminds him very much of the East Vancouver he grew up in, with its multi-ethnic shops and restaurants.

“Burnaby is more like East Van to me than East Van is these days,” he says.

In keeping with the terms of the art the developer wanted – to occupy two separate locations at two separate entrances to the building – Lum created a second part to the piece: the large log, with chain, that the horse has now finished pulling. That piece will be on the Edmonds Street side of the development.

The entire work, which Lum first modelled in clay and then scaled up (a process that’s much easier now than it used to be, he notes, since everything can now be done digitally), took about a year in creation from initial conceptual drawings to the finished product in bronze.

Watching over the installation of the work on Thursday and Friday, Lum has been happy to see people already stopping to check out the work and take pictures of it.

A plaque that will be installed next to the work will give its title and Lum’s name – but it won’t, Lum says, tell them what they should think of it or how they should interpret it.

“I don’t like directions that tell people how to read the work,” he says. “I want them to enjoy it, and I want them to hopefully think about its meaning.”

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Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students – Peace Arch News

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A Clayton Heights Secondary teacher has been recognized with a provincial award.

Visual arts teacher Dennis Memmott was awarded the British Columbia Art Educator Award by the National Art Education Association. The NAEA is a professional membership organization for visual arts teachers.

Memmott was given the honour “in recognition of his creative and thought-provoking work with youth in the arts,” according to a press release.

Memmott said the award is special to him because it was granted by his fellow art teachers.

“It’s kind of an affirmation that the career shift that I made – from doing youth work to combining my passion for art and my passion to see youth succeed – it makes me go, ‘I made the right decision.’ I think I have the best job in the world.”

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student a ‘stand-out’ talent

SEE ALSO: Clayton Heights Secondary student represents at Vancouver Model United Nations

Memmott said, growing up, art was always his thing.

“I never took art in high school,” he said. “I just did art on the side.” That side included photography through skateboarding and snowboarding.

Memmott teaches five photography courses and likes to push the digital image envelope through solargraphy (long exposures with homemade pinhole cameras) and glitch art (digital manipulation of an image’s code).

“I play around with anything I can make an image with,” Memmott added.

Memmott said he challenges his students to push that envelope too.

“So many techniques in photography came out of accidents and experiments,” he said. “So that’s the kind of mindset I try to get them in – sometimes your accidents are better than what you meant to do.”

Memmott started teaching in Surrey in 2006, first at Princess Margaret Secondary before moving to Clayton Heights.

Memmott will receive the award at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis at the end of March.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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