Marcia Hartsock Receives AMI’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

Marcia portrait

The purpose of the Lifetime Achievement Award is to acknowledge and honor a medical illustrator who has been a Professional AMI Member for at least 30 continuous years, and whose life, work and other accomplishments have significantly contributed to the profession.

The AMI Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor awarded by the Association of Medical Illustrators to an individual who has dedicated his or her professional life as a medical illustrator. In doing so, this individual has engaged with fellow illustrators, not only to support the ideals of the profession, but also to insure that it thrives, progresses, and advances the Association. It is with great pleasure that we acknowledge Marcia Hartsock as the 2015 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award reaches beyond AMI service awards to recognize a special person who has enriched our lives and influenced our ideals.

Marcia Hartsock and her sisters Karen and Gail were born and raised in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Born in 1948, Marcia was a baby boomer and her older sister Karen was a war baby. Marcia’s father had obtained his law degree, then enlisted in the Army and served with the Adjutant General Corps during the World War II. Without question attributes of service and leadership are in Marcia’s DNA.

Marcia was blessed with beautiful red hair, and the many black and white photographs taken throughout her childhood and adolescence do not adequately portray how striking she was.

Marcia attended Woodward High School in Cincinnati, and in addition to being President of the WHS Art Club, she was a member of the National Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Pep Club Executive Board, and Senior Choir Accompanist. She was a born volunteer and leader, and she guided her organizations in many worthwhile projects. Marcia was not only a great leader, but she also knew how to be a servant leader. She served as an attendant to the 1966 Woodward High School Snow Queen. Marcia graduated in 1966 as the Valedictorian of her Senior Class; she was a brainiac.

Marcia received her BFA as an Honors Graduate in 1970 from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (or DAAP for short). On an undergraduate art history trip to Rome and Florence, she fell in love with Italy’s many fine art treasures. As with many visitors, Marcia’s wish made at Rome’s Trevi Fountain was to one-day return to Italy some day …which she did with the Vesalius Trust.

University of Cincinnati

From 1978 to1981 Marcia continued her education at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine with a concentration in Independent Studies in the Medical Sciences. Marcia later completed her Master of Arts in Illustration from Syracuse University in 2000. During this time Marcia studied with Bob Dacey and Professor Emeritus Murray Tinkelman. Professor Tinkelman taught in the Syracuse undergraduate program and was the senior advisor in the Independent Study MA Program in Illustration for over 25 years.

Early in her career, Marcia was employed at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Biomedical Communications Department for nine years, later becoming the Assistant Manager of Medical Illustration. For the past 25 years, she has been a principal/owner of The Medical Art Company in Cincinnati serving Midwest and national clients. She has exhibited her work and lectured at local galleries and schools. In addition, for five years she participated as a visual arts faculty member for middle school students at Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Alaska. She has been (and continues to be) a true medical illustration "evangelist" in everything she does.

Allergic rhinitis Infectious arthritis Breastfeeding cradle hold

Already an Associate Member for several years, Marcia was elected to Active Membership in the Association of Medical Illustrators in 1981. Since that time Marcia has served in many leadership positions for both the AMI and Vesalius Trust. She has given countless hours of dedicated service to our Association and profession. Marcia has been a member of the Ethics Task Force, the Public Relations Committee, and Artists Rights Committee.

Coordinator AMI Cincinnati Meeting 1996

Marcia served as Co-Chair of the 1985 AMI annual meeting, Coordinator of the 1996 AMI Annual Meeting , and Program Chair of the 2003 annual meeting. She has been a member of the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators since 1998.

She has served on the AMI Board of Governors from 1987-1992, and on its Executive Committee. She is a Past-President of the Association of Medical Illustrators, and she has been both a member and Vice-Chair of the AMI Fellowship Committee. Marcia has been recognized as a Fellow of the AMI, and she was certified by examination by the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators in 1992.

Marcia has received numerous AMI Salon awards including the Ralph Sweet Best of Show Award, the Will Shepard Award of Excellence, and an AMI Illustrated Medical Book Award. She has received many other national and local awards, including two Rx Club Awards of Excellence, two World Congress Awards of Excellence, and an Art Director’s Club Addy Award.

Kevin Somerville has provided some personal comments about Marcia to be included in her tribute. Kevin writes,

Marcia and I have shared life with its ups and downs. It has run the gamut from celebrating joyous events like weddings, births, professional awards/achievements and, yes, even Sierra Club Whitewater Canoe School… to more poignant, personal moments of loss, such as the passing of people close to us and coping with health issues or crises in our own lives. Marcia has been not only a close friend, but also a treasured professional mentor and confidant. She has always been a source of sage, pragmatic and level-headed counsel at times when my emotions may have otherwise gotten in the way of a successful outcome. I’m so proud of you, both professionally and personally … and wish I were there to revel in this well-deserved recognition.

We all remember Marcia’s 2005 AMI Presidential Address at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. With her Vintage Certification Game Marcia reminded us all of our rich illustration heritage, the legacy art tools, and non-digital techniques that some of us older members had used every day. Her look back was both humorous and insightful.

Vesalius Trust Auction

Marcia is not only a smart, talented leader, she also knows how to have fun… for example during the Vesalius Trust’s Auctions. She has provided many memorable moments at countless Trust Auctions all in support of the Trust’s fundraising efforts.

As background, in the late 1980s, Marcia, Don Biggerstaff, and Bill Andrews all served on the AMI Board of Governors, and became part of a task force to investigate the forming of a charitable foundation to receive member contributions and disburse funds for educational and research purposes. As a result, the Vesalius Trust was established in 1988. Bill Andrews became the Trust’s first President, Don became the Trust’s Vice President, and Marcia became the first Secretary of the Trust.

As one of the founding officers and original Board Members for the Trust, Marcia has served in advisory capacities for the Trust's educational initiatives for over 20 years. Marcia has been the sparkplug behind two very successful initiatives by the Trust - the Art & Anatomy Tours and the Collection of Art in the Service of Science at the Lloyd Library.

In those exciting early days after its founding, the Trust was looking for big, bold educational projects to champion. Marcia asked, “What if we did international tours for continuing education?” She and Marie Dauenheimer put together a marvelous proposal for the very successful Art & Anatomy Tours. In the beginning, the tours followed in footsteps of Andreas Vesalius. The first tour to Italy occurred in 1997, and centered around attending the annual congress of the AMI’s sister organization in Europe, AEIMS.

During a subsequent Art and Anatomy Tour to Paris, Marcia presented a talk on The Golden Section to the AEIMS Congress. This was harder than it looked since the day started with a champagne greeting at the 13th Arrondissement by the local politicos! After a lunch at Ecole Estienne featuring great food and lots of wine, the group met upstairs for the afternoon’s lectures in a nice warm room with thick velvet drapes over the windows. Marcia’s awkwardly translated French text on her slides kept everyone entertained and awake!

The tour group also visited Rosa Bonheur’s Studio in Thoméry, France where Marcia posed with a portrait of Rosa Bonheur. Bonheur became a women’s role model at a time when art was deemed to be a man’s profession.

Anatomy Tours to the Netherlands and Italy

Through the years Marcia has participated in other Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tours to the Netherlands and Italy. Marcia, you had a great idea - the Tours are always an exciting, inspirational educational adventure. By the way, the Trust’s Seventh Art & Anatomy Tour is scheduled for April 2016, to England and Scotland, and Marcia is going!

When medical illustrators retire, or sadly pass on, what happens to their life’s work? Where do those piles of original illustrations, drawings, and paintings go? Who will care for them? These questions inspired Marcia to propose the creation of the Vesalius Trust Collection of Art in the Service of Science, now housed at the Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Because of Marcia and others (OK, but mostly Marcia), all of us now have a place that will archive, value, and care for our original art in perpetuity. As an advisor and liaison to the Lloyd, Marcia has helped facilitate the donation of many AMI members’ artwork, and she has helped market this Collection to our AMI membership and beyond. She not only has shown a genuine concern for preserving our body of illustrative work, but for preserving knowledge of our profession, and of techniques no longer practiced or taught.

Lloyd Library and Museum

Just this year, Marcia played a key role in curating the “Medicine Illuminated” exhibit at the Lloyd Library and Museum, featuring the work of 15 renowned medical illustrators whose original work is part of the Trust Collection. Thank you, Marcia, for another great idea that benefits the Trust, the AMI, and all medical illustrators.

In conclusion, Marcia’s dedicated service, her unbridled passion, and her commitment to the AMI are exemplary of her deep professional devotion. Would you please join Bill Andrews and me in recognizing and welcoming Marcia to the podium?