Introducing the NEW Art + Science Series!

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Greetings biocreativity readers! As many of you know, the biocreativity blog started as a way for me to explore the interrelationship between the arts and biology. I heard from so many artists looking for a place to exhibit their biology-inspired artwork, that the blog eventually inspired me to found a brick-and-mortar art gallery to exhibit science-inspired art. Well, Art.Science.Gallery. has started the new year in a new gallery space at Canopy in east Austin, and I couldn’t be more excited about our exhibitions for 2014! I invite you to come and visit whenever you’re in Austin: 916 Springdale Rd, Building 2, #102, Austin, TX 78702. You can also follow the gallery on Facebook and Twitter (@artscigallery). I’m so happy to report that Art.Science.Gallery. exhibited the work of nearly 200 science-inspired artists in 2013 (check out our past exhibitions here), and we’ve got an exciting schedule of nine science-inspired exhibitions lined up for 2014 (including two open call exhibitions)!

So what has become of the biocreativity blog? Since I’m a biologist by training, the biocreativity blog has thus far featured biology-inspired art. Now that Art.Science.Gallery. is up and running, I’ll be featuring art inspired by all of the natural sciences. I’m happy to announce that the ECO Art + Science Series is being reborn to be more inclusive of other scientific disciplines, as the Art + Science Series. I’ll be featuring interviews with artists that we’re exhibiting at Art.Science.Gallery.! And, as always, I enjoy learning of new artists who are merging art and the natural sciences, so keep me informed in the comments and stay tuned for our first Art + Science Series feature on Katey Berry Furgason’s Portraits of the Microscopic paintings and Collaborations with Insects, Weather, Time, Wood + Root sculptures coming up very soon!

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Art.Science.Gallery. is here!

After months of blogging and meeting some amazing people and artist-scientists, I’ve been hard at work on opening a physical space that embodies this blog. I am so excited to announce the next big adventure here at the biocreativity blog: Art.Science.Gallery., LLC is finally here! While I’m still looking for the perfect physical location for the gallery, I’m really excited to be collaborating with some other spaces to present some really excellent science-related art. Our first exhibition opened this past weekend featuring the sustainable art of one of my past ECO Art + Science artists Emily Bryant!  If you recall, Bryant creates intricate collages of invasive insect species out of pressed and dried invasive plant materials to help educate others about the risks associated with invasive species. We’re collaborating with the South Corridor Gallery @ First Presbyterian Church of Austin on the exhibition, and extend our sincerest thanks (especially to gallery manager Laurie Nelson) for the opportunity to share their space!

So what is Art.Science.Gallery.? Well, it’s a new art gallery, science communication training center and (soon-to-be) event space featuring science-related art in Austin, Texas! Our mission is to provide a friendly environment to make science more accesible to the public through science-related visual arts exhibitions, foster the careers of emerging and established artist-scientists and to provide professional development opportunities for scientists to become more engaging public communicators.

Here’s a little bit more about us:

We reject the idea that one must be categorized as either an “artist” or a “scientist”, and welcomes anyone along a great spectrum of artists and scientist to explore and participate in Art.Science.Gallery.! Both those educated as “artists” and as “scientists” are trained to seek out novelty and contribute to their fields in new and exciting ways. We think those people who can innovatively blend the two disciplines have the best chance of improving art, science and social literacy around the world. One reason we opened Art.Science.Gallery. is to give these artist-scientists a platform through which to present their work and perspective from their place on the biocreativity continuum. As public funding for the arts and sciences continues to decrease, it is increasingly important to provide accessible multidisciplinary content that engages public audiences in these subjects. So, Art.Science.Gallery. encourages people of all ages to explore contemporary art and basic science in a fun and relaxed environment.

Indeed, the Scientific American blog Symbiartic recently evaluated the growing science art movement, measuring its strength via the size of ScienceArtists FriendFeed (a multi-blog feed of many dozens of science-related art and artist blogs, of which the biocreativity blog is a part). This new science-art aesthetic seems to be testing the boundaries of both art and science to establish itself as its own field; a beautiful hybrid between art and science that once existed during Ernst Haeckel’s, Charles Darwin’s and John James Audubon’s times. Art.Science.Gallery. seeks to further this movement by directly fostering art-science collaborations and by featuring the work of both emerging and established contemporary artist-scientists.

Art.Science.Gallery. will also serve as a hub for art-science collaborations and science communication training. We believe all scientists – especially those whose work is supported by public funds and/or at public institutions – have a responsibility to communicate their work effectively to the public. Unfortunately, relatively few colleges and universities offer specific training to their students in science communication. We will soon be offering training courses and workshops for scientists to help them become more engaging and creative public communicators as well as fun hands-on science-art classes for the public!

So, I think you can tell I’m pretty excited about this, but that doesn’t mean that the biocreativity blog is going anywhere (and maybe now you can see why I haven’t posted as often the last couple of months)! Stay tuned for some new posts from scenic Colorado, as I’m traveling there for the next two weeks and plan to tell you all about Christo + Jeanne-Claude’s Over the River Project and some biocreative selections from the Denver Art Museum.

If you’d like to join the Art.Science.Gallery. mailing list, please click on the image below. You can also find us on facebook.com/ArtScienceGallery and follow us on Twitter @artscigallery. And, feel free to help us spread the word!

‘connections’ at the metropolitan museum of art

Connections | Metropolitan Museum of ArtI am absolutely in love with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2011 Connections series.  What I really love is that Connections is that it’s a different take on the traditional art exhibit, which usually features a single artist or group of similar artists. Connections seeks to, well, connect otherwise unrelated art + artifacts through simple yet fascinating topics. While I long to see some of these treasures in person, the web-based audiovisual “tours” are simply and elegantly presented to really let the work stand out. I also love that this series introduces us to the folks who work in the museum, so we can learn more about their interests and passions.

Of course, the ones I find most enticing are those with biocreative themes: Birding (3/2/2011), Water (4/6/2011), Bugs (6/15/2011) + Crocodiles (6/29/2011). The most recent of these – Trees (7/6/2011) – combines everything from artists depictions of trees, tree symbology, photographs of trees and even things made of trees (furniture, sculpture, curios, etc.).

Wouldn’t it be cool if you had access to the Met’s collections to make your own Connections piece? Well, you (kind of) can! Choose a topic, search the Met’s collections database and fill your own “My Met Gallery” with up to 50 items. Unfortunately, I can’t find a way to share my gallery publicly, but I made a fun herpetology-themed exhibit. Here is one of my favorite items in my gallery: Skink and Snake (Tokage and Hebi), from Picture Book of Selected Insects with Crazy Poems (Ehon Mushi Erabi). Maybe gallery sharing is something I can suggest to the Met for next year. It would be really interesting to let the public create and share their own web-based Connections galleries via the online collection database! In the meantime, watch for new Connections episodes every Wednesday; I hope they keep doing this well into the future! What’s in your gallery?