» Modernism
Submitted by Admin on Thu, 04/14/2016 - 12:28

I was raised in Gary, Indiana -- the birthplace of Michael Jackson.  So Michael’s life story, one of controversy and creativity, has intimately shaped my identity and purpose as a plastic surgeon.   I’ve often said that my calling was to ensure that there were “no more Michael Jacksons,” that is, individuals who ended up scarred or disfigured from elective facial cosmetic surgery.  For the first decade of my professional career, I worked diligently and passionately towards that humanistic goal by cultivating my artistic and technical expertise in cosmetic surgery, sharing knowledge through presentations at national and international meetings, and writing scholarly articles on the subject of ethnic plastic surgery. As I was growing a very successful practice and becoming a well-respected surgeon, Michael Jackson tragically died on June 25, 2009, thereby complicating my mantra of “no more Michael Jacksons” . . . sadly because Michael was no more.  His untimely death forced me to think deeply about the notion of “well-being disfigurement”, which I think of as invisible  identity scarring that distorts health. Michael’s life performance had been a dangerous dance (which he ultimately failed to master) of misaligned beauty, health, and identity.  The critical issue is that when poor health (mental or physical) takes center stage, it is often a show stopper.  

Michael’s well-being disfigurement was extreme, but unfortunately not rare. Many others suffer from the same misalignment. In the seven years since Michael’s premature death, my practice focus has dramatically shifted towards creating a healing atmosphere that aligns beauty, health, and identity. Last year, I successfully piloted a series of engaging self-discovery experiences as a part of our growing Artisan of Self (AOS) wellness program including an Intro to Genealogy workshop with board certified genealogist, LaBrenda Garret-Nelson and a Collage Portrait Identity workshop with mixed media artist, Ellington Robinson. It has been a slow uphill march against the cosmetic status quo as I migrate to a more holistic practice consciousness that is life-enhancing for my patients and me.  Poor health has an especially profound effect on the overall well-being of disparate groups across the globe.  The world in which we live is changing at a disorienting rapid pace with violence becoming increasingly commonplace.  Whether it’s a heart attack, terrorist attack or police attack; the end result is the same – folks are dying too soon. 

The time is ripe to RETHINK HEALTH. There is a growing need for culturally tailored forms of healthcare to respond more effectively to the complexities of our modern life.  I have long been enamored with the utopian ideals of Modernism and the idea of activating art + design for social transformation.   I believe that there is an exciting opportunity to spark a Health and Well-Being Revolution – ushered in through a beauty doorway.  It’s 2016 and I’m ready to leap ALL IN. 

Get ready for a Big Splash,
Dr. Oyd


PS – Here are some photos of our Artisan of Self workshops held at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.  I want to thank Insana Collins, our photography superstar who always graciously responds when called... often at the last minute to capture the spirit of these well-being experiences in photographs. 



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Submitted by Admin on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 12:32

I grew up in Gary Indiana, just 20 miles outside of Chicago Illinois.  In stark contrast to the Windy City - Gary was a small steel town – most readily recognized by industrial odor and the smoke stacks of the U.S. Steel Corporation.  Although the Gary community was nurturing, there was a definite void when it came to being stimulated by the beauty of my surroundings.   Chicago, however, has always been a personal beacon - offering up inspiration for the amazing possibilities of a life engaged with art and design.   As it turns out, Chicago and the Bauhaus have played a fundamental role in my evolution as a physician.

Founded in 1979, the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP) aimed to prepare urban kids for successful careers in the health professions.  I was privileged to be among the earliest groups of students to benefit from the program.  CAHMCP was housed on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on Chicago’s Southside.  I can remember as a high school student being equally excited by both the physical appearance of the IIT campus and the educational enrichment offered through CAHMCP.  I often fondly reflect on my IIT/CAHMCP experiences as the creative catalyst for my career in plastic surgery.  

It wasn’t until many years later as a surgery intern at the University of Michigan that I came upon a book on the Bauhaus and made the delightful connection between IIT, Chicago, and the emergence of Modernism in America.  The Bauhaus is considered to be the most influential school of art, design, and architecture of the 20th century.  After its closure in 1933, Bauhaus professors and apprentices spread a unifying principle of art integrated with industry throughout the world.  Surprisingly, the life work of two Bauhaus masters, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, is intimately interwoven with Chicago and the rich history of IIT. 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last Bauhaus director, immigrated to Chicago to head the Department of Architecture at IIT.  Mies designed the buildings and the master plan for IIT’s campus.  Crown Hall built as the home of IIT School of Architecture is highly regarded as Mies’ finest work. So, it’s no surprise why I was enamored with the IIT campus as a CAHMCP student.  Laszlo Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago in 1937 to start a new design school which he named the New Bauhaus.  The design school flourishes today as the IIT Institute of Design and has grown into the largest full-time graduate- only design program in the US with students from around the world.

Even in my youth, I felt a strong connection to the modernist spirit.  I’ve always been energized by art, design, and architecture.  A desire to build and create is ever-present in me.  So, I continue to cultivate my passion for design and the art of healing to help others experience beauty and goodness in their lives.


Mies van der Rohe Sculpture by Hugo Weber 1961, Crown Hall

S.R. Crown Hall, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dr. Monte O. Harris during a recent visit back to Illinois Institute of Technology, 2013

Lugwig Mies Van der Rohe

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Bauhaus - 1919

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