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Exhibit Production
-The making of the giant walkthrough heart valve
-Articles about our exhibit design
-Heartthrob™ Costume
- Get to the Heart of the Matter.
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Articles about our exhibit design

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January 4th, 1991

Pulse of the Heart Institute. . .

DAN MacMEDAN/The Desert Sun

KING OF HEARTS: Adam Rubinstein, curator of the Heartland museum, designed the textured wall behind him, which shows components of human blood. By touching a button, visitors can light up the various cells and hear about their form and fucntion.

Heartland of the valley
By JAMIE SHOOP BRAY
The Desert Sun

    Museum fans can browse to their heart's content in Heartland.

    Take a step inside and you encounter a barrier of giant red blood cells. (Imagine a 8-foot-long wall of bagels crafted from cherry Jell-O and you get the picture.)

    For the record, those wiggly blood cells - accented by rubbery platelets and other blood cells - are vinyl.

    "It's the same type of material they make fishing worms out of," says museum curator Adam Rubinstein.

    If that wall - and other Heartland exhibits - entice visitors to reach out and touch, that's part of the plan.

    Just a heartbeat away from Eisenhower Medical Center, one happens upon the small museum, tucked into the Heart Institute of the Desert.


DAN MacMEDAN/The Desert Sun
DELICATE WORK: Lynn Hopkins, an exhibit builder, solders wires connected to some 6,000 lights that will make up a circulatory diagram exhibit in the Heartland museum.

Most of the exhibits in Heartland, the California Museum of the Heart, were designed by Rubinstein.

    "Partly our mission is to beat heart disease through interactive education" he says. "Interactive exhibits are the new wave in museums." Standing in the center of the museum, a giant three - dimensional question mark houses a computer. Answer a few questions, and it evaluates you risk of suffering a heart attack, based on information from the National Institutes of Health.

    Across the room, another exhibit offers free blood pressure screening. Video screens on the wall explain how a blood pressure check works. To activate the exhibit, one squeezes a bulb dangling from the wall, just like those that inflate a blood pressure cuff.

Concerned about cholesterol? Videos - housed in two people-height pear sculptures - offer tips on reducing dietary cholesterol and healthy food preparation.

    In the basement of the Heart Institute, more exhibits are taking shape, including a giant heart valve sculpture that visitors will walk through to enter Heartland. A giant ear leans against a wall.

    A giant pulsating aorta rests against another wall, awaiting its exhibit.

    People can squeeze it and touch it,"Rubinstein says eagerly.     The curators enthusiasm for the exhibits he designed is apparent as he shows off works in progress.     "I really love doing this stuff." Pointing to sculptors crafting the heart valve, he comments: it's like taking it out of a rock, almost like Michelangelo."

    Rubinstein combined two passions - biology and art - into a career as a medical illustrator. He was first introduced to the Heart Institute when he stopped by to borrow a heart model. He's been there almost four years.

    "Doing interactive exhibits is a unique opportunity to use my profession," he admits as he maps out plans for upcoming exhibits.

    The goal of Heartland is to have a positive impact on the community's heart health, says Rubinstein.

    The museum is funded by the Heart Institute of the Desert Foundation. A non-profit group provides direction and financial support for heart health education and research.


DAN MacMEDAN/The Desert Sun
HEARTS IN THEIR WORK: Darryl Elliot (left) and Christine Treech, both sculptors for Heartland, work on a heart valve exhibit.

    Heartland is just part of the foundations's multi-pronged attack against heart disease. Foundation executive director Bruce Underwood sees the museum as a way to reach a population that might not be aware of heart disease.

    "We want to disseminate information in a fun, different way to get the message across," Underwood says.

    "Because we had a medical illustrator as creative and brilliant as Adam, we wanted to create an information center."

    Since Heartland opened in September 1989, about 25,000 people have visited.

    Some visitors have been people affected by heart disease - either because they are patients or relatives of patients at the Heart Institute.

    "We catch people at a teachable moment," says Underwood. "They're more receptive and willing to learn at that moment."


Reprinted with permission.





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Language options Illustration
Giant animatronic heart -
Veterinary Illustration of Skeletal System -
Veterinary Illustration of Digestive System -
Animated medical illustration of a blocked coronary artery -
Laser atherectomy -
Womens body with age -
Open heart open -
Medical illustration of the structural makeup of a coronary artery -
AIDS virus attacking t-cell -
Insect Illustration -
Veterinary Illustration of Muscular System -
Women with chest pain -
Logo and package design -
Electronic illustration for Stroke Advertisement -
Electronic illustration of a papilloma in the lactiferous ducts of the breast -
Electronic illustration of a clot in a coronary artery -
Life Cycle of Hook Worm -
Scabies mite book illustration -
Award Winning Ceramic Floor Design Gets to the Heart of Wellness -
Interior Design of Heart Hospital Patient Rooms -
Interior Design of Hospital Lobby -
Exhibit Design and the California Museum of the Heart -
Museum gets to the heart of the matter -


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Copyright 2001. Site design and layout byKahlil Amin, Adam Rubinstein, and Sam Kang
Adam G. Rubinstein, Mark Molchan, Jamie Lee Pricer, Medical illustation, Medical illustrator, artists, medical art, heartland museum, medical museum, modern sculpture, hospital art, unique, exhibit design, sculpture, exhibit design, animatronic sculpture, Rancho Mirage, interactive art, interior design, design of public places, industrial design, exhibit building, custom sculpture, three dimensional, large scale sculpture, museum design, Rita Goodnote, biological illustration, set sculpture, set design, special effects