A new University of Colorado Boulder exhibit opening Friday, Sept. 21 highlights the symbiosis of artistic and scientific thinking.
Embryonic, the premiere exhibit for the Nature, Environment, Science and Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts, includes paintings, sculpture and multimedia such as polymeric “embryos,” an alternative barn swallow habitat and silk batiks created by a geologist and artist to demonstrate the fragility of the barrier islands.
This exhibit, a free public event, opens Friday at 11 a.m. with a welcome event at noon and includes tours that will run until 5 p.m. in the Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) at 1725 Euclid Ave. Embryonic will also be viewable from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and by appointment through Dec. 21.
“NEST combines artistic practice and scientific research to explore our common and disparate ways of observing, recording, experimenting and knowing,” said Tara Knight, an associate professor in the College of Media, Communication and Information’s Department of Critical Media Practices (DCMP).
Launched with CU Boulder Grand Challenge funding, NEST is led by Knight and co-investigator Erin Espelie, an assistant professor in DCMP and the Department of Cinema Studies. Joining them is scholar-in-residence Jorge Perez-Gallego, an astronomer, designer and educator with a Ph.D. in astronomy and an M.F.A. in design.
They are working with more than 20 institutional and individual partners—including BioFrontiers Institute, the CU Museum of Natural History, the CU Art Museum and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—to exhibit work; create new courses; conduct cross-disciplinary research; and co-host exhibits, events and workshops across campus and beyond.
NEST recently awarded graduate student fellowships to nine pairs of artists and scientists who will work on joint projects that will be displayed at the exhibit. For example, Camila Friedman-Gerliczb, an MFA candidate in Art and Art History, and Aaron Lamplugh, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, incorporated porous materials such as activated carbon into ceramic surfaces to create simple and elegant air-cleaning art pieces that can be used in nail salons and other toxic indoor environments.