Art Gallery: The Paintings of Virgil J. Parker, M.D.

Shirley Zhao

Shirley Zhao
Shirley Zhao is currently an Assistant Librarian (Clinical) at the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. She consults and teaches workshops and courses on information/data literacy, data management, and reproducible research practices. She supports evidence retrieval and synthesis, including literature searching, reference management, and protocol development. Shirley also consults on issues in scholarly communication, publishing, and research software/tools. Her interests include data science; reproducibility; open science; research impact; and science communication.

v-parker_3picturesThe Paintings of Virgil J. Parker, M.D.
October 1-31, 2016
EHSL Main Level – Art Gallery

Dr. Virgil Parker’s art career began in 1970 when Utah-based artists Michael Coleman and Paul Salisbury were both patients of his.  They inspired him to embark on an artistic career that has spanned 45 years.  Virgil continues a close friendship with Michael Coleman to this day.

Dr. Parker has shown work in many locations including Arthur Phesey Studios, the Provo Municipal Building, and the Springville Art Gallery.  He has also participated in various group home showings.  His paintings are featured in collections throughout the U.S. and Australia.  He is well known for donating his work directly to institutions as well as donating the proceeds of sales of his art to the U of U, BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Missionary Fund.

Virgil Jon Parker was born in Joseph, Utah in 1927.  The town of Joseph, located in Sevier County had a population of 150 people.  He was the youngest of four children.  He lost his father when he was three.  To help support the family his mother served as the county mid-wife. Virgil served in the Army Air Corp during WWII.  Upon returning he attended the University of Utah, graduating with a BA in French in 1953.  He graduated from the U’s medical school in 1957.

He completed in internal medicine residency in Portland, Oregon with an emphasis in endocrinology.  He started his career in Provo, Utah.  He and Dr. Richard Nimer started the Central Utah Medical Clinic and were joined later by Morris Gardner, a friend from medical school. Today the clinic has locations through-out Utah and employs 150 physicians.  In 1961 he, together with his wife, Jacquelyn A. Parker, a registered dietician, and Utah medical school classmate Marv Rallison started Camp Utada, a camp for children with juvenile diabetes. The camp still operates today.

From 1975-1977 he and Jackie served the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as mission presidents of the Belgium, Brussels Mission.  Later in 1988-1990 they served as missionaries in the Congo.  He also served as medical advisor to Western Europe for the church from 2000-2002.  Later he was medical advisor at the MTC and served on the missionary medical board.

Dr. Parker has always liked creating.  His interests include poetry, art, language, and writing. He is also an accomplished pianist.

Proceeds from the show at the Eccles Library will be donated to the University of Utah School of Medicine Scholarship Fund.