William Haney, Professor of Art, Design and Interactive Multimedia
The medical illustrations of William Haney, Professor of Art, Design and Interactive Multimedia in the College of Communication and the Arts, have been selected to appear in the “Visual Thinking” Art Exhibition at Indiana University Southeast. The international exhibition displays a thought-provoking view of the drawing language that includes analytical studies, exploratory drawings and fully rendered images. Haney’s medical drawing, “Prosthetic Trellis Human Knee Implant” was among 60 pieces selected by a blind jury of researchers and scholars to appear in the exhibit from a pool of over 750 international applicants. For Professor Haney, the exhibition embodies the value of drawing as a tool for invention, problem solving, and design thinking, a philosophy he imparts on his students at Seton Hall.
Haney’s selected work “Prosthetic Trellis Human Knee Implant”
Haney relates the process of drawing to that of any other language or skill set. “Although visual acuity or seeing well can predispose someone to becoming a visual creator, it has its limitations. More important is understanding the drawing language and its use in perception.” For him it is about finding the commonality between vision, technique and ultimately form. In Professor Haney’s experience, nobody becomes an exceptional artist without first being able to understand the language and application of designing and drawing. His process for creating a medical illustration begins first by studying a specific anatomical region in understanding human architecture. In this case bones. In the second stage he studies the “mechanism of action” to discover how an implant or pharmaceutical product affects the body. In the third stage, Professor Haney consults with scientists and/or physicians to finalize interactions and mechanism of action narratives. Each iteration contains both macro and micro viewpoints. In the final execution drawings are computer rendered with a hyper-realistic application.
Condyle Bone Studies
A Cranford, New Jersey native, Haney gravitated to drawing at a young age. He was trained professionally as an artist from the age of fifteen. He attended the University of Tampa where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Printmaking. He then attended the University of Georgia and earned a Master’s in Fine Arts studying drawing and anatomy, and it was there that he was first introduced to scientific illustration. Haney began his academic career teaching anatomy and technical drawing at Carnegie-Melon University, while also taking post graduate courses in interactive computer graphics. At the dawn of the digital age, he gained the distinction of being one of the first artists in the world to create digital art on a computer. This groundbreaking exposure afforded him the opportunity to marry his unique multidisciplinary approach in anatomy, biomedical illustration and digital graphics, and allowed him to develop relationships with multiple medical companies. For the next 20 years, Haney worked directly with large pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device companies such as Merck and Company, Johnson and Johnson, Pharmacia Deltec, Glaxo Smith Kline and Osteonics Orthopedics, helping to develop implants and prosthetics. During this time, he was frequently contracted to develop medical educational campaigns for new implantable prosthetics and pharmacodynamics. When he decided to return to academia, it was because he found himself and his skillset somewhat in demand. As one of the few artists able to teach web design, a new and exciting field at the time, Haney first started teaching again for the College of New Jersey and University of Pennsylvania’s Penn School of Design before finally landing at Seton Hall University where he worked to develop the university’s website. He has been a professor at Seton Hall ever since, primarily because of the network of active professionals teaching at the university.
For Haney, participating in exhibitions such as “Visual Thinking” is about more than just recognition – it is a critically important part of his role at Seton Hall. He believes competing, seeking exposure and excelling professionally outside the classroom is a vital part of being a role model for students. While reflecting on his own time as a student, he recalls the relationship he had with professors and how their professional success outside the classroom influenced him. “One of the things I’m most grateful for is the kind of professors I had when I was younger. These were people who would invite you to their studios to engage in a one on one dialogue. In many cases they would hire you as personal apprentice. It wasn’t just about the classroom.” This emphasis on personalized instruction and focus on gaining real world experience goes to the core of how Professor Haney mentors and instructs his students, and how Seton Hall prepares students for their careers as responsible creators and good citizens.
Professor Haney currently teaches digital and traditional drawing applications in the Art, Design and Interactive Multimedia program in the College of Communications and the Arts. The exhibition “Visual Thinking” is currently on display at Indiana University Southeast.