Helix Gallery

Helix Gallery

Canines as Healers: Stories & Portraits of Veterans & Service Dogs

Adam & Rosi, 2023, photograph by Carly Onofrio-Kane

July 22 – September 13

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open House and Reception, Saturday, August 3, 12-2 p.m.

Service dogs can provide a lifeline back to the world for veterans experiencing PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and other mental health struggles. Developed from a Scholarly Inquiry Humanities project at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, medical student Carly Onofrio-Kane interviewed and took photo portraits of nine veterans with their service dogs in analog and digital film, discussing their relationship in the context of healing. The narratives express the life-saving impact of service dogs on veterans’ lives, demonstrating an opportunity to explore their companionship as a supplement to traditional medical care. Given the high rates of PTSD and suicide in veterans, the project encourages a sense of urgency in increasing access to service dogs for veterans. 

Carly Onofrio-Kane is a third-year medical student at SKMC. As a former hairstylist, she loved hearing the stories of her clients, and is grateful to hear new stories in the patients she meets at Jefferson. She graduated from Temple University with a BA in Psychology in 2020. She started practicing amateur photography in her early teens and enjoys experimenting with various analog films. She is a recipient of the VA Health Professional Scholarship Program and will continue in her story collection and advocacy for service dogs and veteran healthcare.

Phoebe Warren (Curator) is a third-year medical student at SKMC. Before beginning her medical education, Phoebe received a BA in Art History from Princeton University in 2021. Her Senior Thesis research addressed the ways in which images shape our understanding of disease pandemics. She served as an Education Fellow for the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 2022. 

About Helix Gallery

The Helix Gallery showcases creative projects that explore connections between the arts, humanities, medicine and health, as well as an annual Jefferson student art exhibition. 

1001 Locust Street, Philadelphia, 19107
(inside the Dorrance H. Hamilton Building)

May 1-July 15, 2024
Helix Gallery is currently on summer break and is open by appointment only. 

Contact: Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities

Past Projects

May 1-July 1, 2024

The annual Jefferson student art exhibition celebrates the unique talents of Jefferson students across health professions. This year’s showcase at Helix Gallery highlights visual artist contributors to Inside Out, Jefferson’s student-led literary and art journal, as well as the three commissioned student artists for the 2023-2024 Jefferson Humanities Forum theme, "Futures."

Featuring: Connor Crutchfield, Sanskruti Dave, Amanda Rose Farese, Benjamin Fleet, Meryem Guler, Faith Higgins, Sarah Muche-Smith, Abhijeet Sambangi, Elizabeth Upton and Madison Woods.

October 9, 2023 - January 5, 2024

Pulling from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center, Rami George presents “The Crisis Isn’t Over,” a new exhibition for Jefferson’s Helix Gallery. With a focus on materials related to the ongoing AIDS crisis, George revisits legacies of activism from ACT UP and local figures lost early to AIDS. “The Crisis Isn’t Over” continues George’s explorations into local Philadelphia queer history, and is their first presentation as the Archives inaugural Artist in Residence.

Rami George (born 1989, U.S.) is a multidisciplinary artist currently based on Lenape land in what is now called Philadelphia. Their work—spanning photo, video, installation, text, and music/sound—has been presented in exhibitions and screenings at the William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Anthology Film Archives, New York City; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland; Grand Union, Birmingham, England; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; LUX, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and elsewhere. They continue to be influenced and motivated by political struggles and fractured narratives.

Image from "Au Courant" Photographs Collection in the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center, selected and scanned by Rami George.

January 17 - April 13, 2024

Jefferson Humanities & Health and The Institute on Disabilities, Temple University, College of Education and Human Development, present File/Life: We Remember Stories of Pennhurst at Helix Gallery.

Over nearly eight decades, more than 10,000 people lived at the Pennhurst State School and Hospital, an institution for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities operated by the state of Pennsylvania from 1908 to 1987. When it opened, Pennhurst was considered a model facility. When it closed, it was because Pennhurst violated the human rights of the people living there.

File/Life is a community-led creative exploration of the Pennhurst archives by seven archivists, all people with disabilities and/or family members, including two former Pennhurst residents. These community archivists collaborated with a team of multi-disciplinary artists to share stories that made them listen, feel, imagine, and remember. In doing so, they asked the question: Can a file ever contain a life?

Visitors are invited to read and interact with archival material, listen to audio and watch video. Content is ASL interpreted, audio described, captioned, and available in Braille and though QR codes. Some video content is accessed through headphones.