M. Michiko Maruyama’s “Spirit of the Heart” artwork graces cover of Libin Life magazine


“Spirit of the Heart” is a limited edition hand-pulled acrylic silkscreen print by M. Michiko Maruyama. Myrna and Don McDonald kindly donated a framed print of this artwork to the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. It is on display in the Foothills’ Heritage Medical Research Building, Rm 68.

It is the cover art for the Institute’s redesigned magazine, Libin Life, Spring 2013, published last month.

Inspired by First Nations artwork, the black spirits (the whale and the seal) represent the deoxygenated blood that flows through the right side of the heart.

The red spirits (the fox and the bird) represent the oxygenated blood flowing through the left side. The major anatomical components, including the valves and major vessels, are maintained in their anatomical position. Even the electrical system that controls the contraction of the heart is included within the lines.

“Spirit of the Heart” won the grand-prize in the 2011 Heartfelt Images, an art contest for first year University of British Columbia medical and dental students organized by the Cardiovascular Block Chair, Dr. Carol-Ann Courneya.

M. Michiko Maruyama is currently a medical student at the University of British Columbia Northern Medical Program. Prior to starting medical school, Maruyama completed an Industrial Design degree at the University of Alberta. In addition to studying medicine, Michiko is continuing to explore art and design.

In the summer of 2011, “Spirit of the Heart” caught the attention of Haida Artist Clarence Mills who invited Michiko to study Haida Art at the Longhouse on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia. Michiko became the first apprentice of Clarence Mills and she learned the art of silver jewelry, wood carving and silk screen print making.

It was during her apprenticeship that she transformed “Spirit of the Heart” into a Limited Edition silkscreen print. The prints are approximately 15 x 22 inches, water-based acrylic paint on heavy weight Stonehenge acid free paper.

For more on Michiko Maruyama’s artwork, visit artoflearning.ca


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