The Kennedy Center

Justus Harris


Justus Harris is a patient, artist, and educator based in Chicago. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 14, he has since combined his artistic training and patient experiences to found MedSculp which designs art-based, 3D visual educational tools for people with diabetes and chronic conditions. MedSculp translates personal medical data and concepts from charts and graphs into 3D-printed objects and 2D designs that can be intuitively understood by and effectively used by people of all ages and abilities. Justus’s work embodies the Maker and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education principals with the experience of living with chronic illness. He was the first Maker in Residence at the Chicago Public Library Maker Lab and has exhibited his work at institutions including the Stanford School of Medicine, the European Commission, and the American Diabetes Association.

Justus is an alumna of the University of California San Francisco’s Life Science Entrepreneurship Program and the Visual and Critical Studies program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) where he continues his role as an alumni ambassador. He is a recent winner of SAIC’s Make/Work Creative Venture Challenge providing him access to mHUB, Chicago’s premier physical prototyping space for his practice. His upcoming solo exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science will bring patient leaders and companies from across the country to Chicago from August to November (2018). This includes Fitscript, a diabetes fitness company that he is collaborating with to produce an art installation at the American Diabetes Association’s largest public Health and Wellness EXPO in the US at McCormick Place in Chicago on April 14th (2018) with over 6,000 expected attendees.

Upcoming Performances

Video 8/26/2018: The Beat That Binds Us: A multi-genre performative and visual piece curated by the 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows

By combining elements of spoken word verse, hip hop, dance, visual art & instrumentation, The Beat That Binds Us explores the connectivity of Americans by using the body as a metaphor, with emphasis on its health and vitality dependent on the syncopated rhythm of its heartbeat. Through creating content that explores social norms and behaviors, this performance will investigate the barriers that create disease or disharmony in an increasingly divisive nation, and will unpack what we can do to move forward together as a functioning, beating heart.

About the Performers: The Kennedy Center, a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, honors our 35th President everyday by uplifting ideals from his legacy (service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude) that live through the arts. As part of this celebration of legacy, the Kennedy Center launched the "Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition" in 2016, which celebrates emerging artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities. Through a year-long engagement with the Kennedy Center, Citizen Artist Fellows develop and strengthen connections in their fields, receive opportunities for artistic collaboration and presentation, and gain access to Kennedy Center Staff and Artistic Partners for individual professional development.

Justus Harris