The Circle Gallery at the UGA College of Environment and Design will feature recent paintings by Rich Panico in the exhibition Landscape, Remembrance and Healing from March 16 through April 28. The opening reception will take place March 16 from 4:30-6 p.m. Panico will give an open lecture on the topic on March 23 at 5 p.m. in lecture hall 123 of the Jackson Street Building.
As a medical practitioner, yogi and artist, Panico has a deep and multi-faceted understanding of the human condition. His current interest in art and medicine addresses the propensity of our species to turn the inevitable human experiences of pain and loss into suffering, which, if not understood and engaged in wisely, leads to the acquisition of co-morbid (the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient) psychiatric syndromes and complex encounters with our challenging medical system. He has created more than 70 paintings for this exhibition.
Panico has successfully engaged in a complex career in Athens form more than 40 years. He is currently practicing mind-body medicine part time, teaching integrative medicine to physicians and is a nondegree graduate student of UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. He is a board certified psychiatrist, the founder and former director of the Mind-Body Institute at Piedmont Athens Regional, former medical director of Advantage Behavioral Health Systems and was division chief of psychiatry at Piedmont Athens Regional for many years. He is a longtime student and practitioner of classical yoga and its therapeutic applications and has taught this older interior form of yoga and meditation for three decades.
His training in art was through an apprenticeship in oriental high fire ceramics, and he has worked for more than 30 years with indigenous clays and glaze materials, ultimately creating a large body of work inspired by Neolithic animal effigy vessels. In 2003, he taught himself to draw and paint with pastels, developing an avid interest in landscape and figurative work that complement his work in ceramics.
The Circle Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment.