Chazan! Unfiltered

February 19, 2021

Chazan! Unfiltered follows the path of Rhode Island nephrologist Joseph A. Chazan, MD, as he pursues his two passions – art and medicine – and explores how the two collide. Dr. Chazan became a superhero to his patients when he tore through red tape to establish the first dialysis clinic in Rhode Island. When he needed an escape from work, he – with his cherished wife, Helene – raised eyebrows in the medical community as they turned to art, supporting countless previously unknown artists in the process and playing an instrumental role in establishing the beloved arts institution AS220.

In Chazan! Unfiltered, the doctor’s life is viewed through the lens of a conversation between grandfather and grandson. The two discuss professional accomplishments, friendship and art, life’s joys and heartbreaks, and how it all connects in a way that gives life meaning.

Dr. Chazan is joined by illustrator Erminio Pinque and scriptwriter Lenny Schwartz to discuss the project.


Dr. Joseph A. Chazan, MD, is a pioneering nephrologist and clinical professor of medicine emeritus at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. Chazan, who continues an active practice, is president and founder of Nephrology Associates, Inc. in Rhode Island, and senior managing director of American Renal Associates, Inc. for Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Chazan served as governor of the American College of Physicians for the state of Rhode Island; was a founder of Ocean State Physicians Health Plan; and held the position of board chairman for United Health Plans of New England. In 1973, Chazan and his late wife, Helene, began collecting contemporary art, eventually donating much of the now-renowned collection to 30 museums, including the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the UB Art Galleries. In June 2013, Chazan was honored with the Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

Erminio Pinque is an illustrator and performance artist based in Providence, RI, where he directs the international touring group BIG NAZO and the recently formed Space Transformation Station, an alien-robot shop that serves the community. He has taught Creature-Creation at the Rhode Island School of Design for three decades and is currently working on a graphic novel based on his “Monster of the Month” illustration series.

Lenny Schwartz is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and now a writer of a graphic novel. Lenny runs his own theatre company, Daydream Theatre Company, where he writes and directs both original and biographical plays. He also writes and produces films with Scorpio Films Releasing and IM Filmworks. He is currently working on a biographical play about Batman co-creator Bill Finger. He lives in North Scituate, RI.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: Art History, Art, and Design