Mar 032010
Authors: Kate Bennis

The creative forces between the realms of two seemingly unrelated fields, art and science, will come together Friday evening as the fifth annual Art and Science Exhibition opens in the Curfman Gallery at 4 p.m.

The exhibition explores the commonalities between the two fields, which are often overlooked, said Haley Bates, an associate professor in the Art Department.

“I think that aspects of the sciences work their way into many art processes, and there is an aesthetic quality to a lot of scientific research that is inherently very beautiful and artistic,” she said.

The idea for the exhibit sparked five years ago when then-Dean of Natural Sciences Rick Miranda saw a similar show at the University of Princeton, Bates said.

Inspired, Miranda and several students within his own department approached the Art Department in pursuance of celebrating the relationship between art and science.

The show was well received in its first year, Bates said.

“It was really successful, and so we did it the next year. It seems like it’s grown and gotten more popular. It’s turning into an institution,” she said.

A jury assembled Sunday to determine who would be included in the exhibit. It made its decisions based on variety in mediums and the ability to successfully incorporate science into their artwork.

“The two pursuits ultimately are looking to achieve the same result, and that is to bring reality to the people,” said Nick Croghan, Lory Student Center Arts Manager and Gallery Director. “What I find interesting are the different roads and myriad ways art and science crisscross in this investigation of the world around us.”

Unlike most exhibitions, the demographic of entrants ranged from art majors to veterinary medicine students to faculty and staff members. Of the 117 participants, 56 were liberal arts majors.

Graduate art student Lindsay Phillips’ piece, “We Have the Feelies and the Scent Organ Instead,” is a reinterpretation of a cell phone in three-dimensional pixels. Exaggerated in size and comprised of wood and enamel, the cell phone also has a hinge that enables it to open as a flip-phone would.

“I’d been working a lot with images that are online and computerized, re-creating them as if they were 3-D and made by hand,” Phillips said. “Rather than this super-perfect technology, I created handmade version of it.”

Her second year as part of the exhibition, Phillips’ interest in the theme arose from the personal connection with science within her own art.

“I think that everything is interconnected. In order to make a piece of art you have to know about science to some degree,” she said.

Awards to the participants will be announced Friday during the opening ceremony in the Curfman Gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Staff writer Kate Bennis can be reached at

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