Microbiomes: To See the Unseen

An Exhibit Inspired by Microbiology Research and Research Methods

April 13 – May 27, 2017

The Arts Center showed artwork created through an art+science collaboration between OSU’s Department of Microbiology and The Arts Center, along with artworks created during integrated art+science residencies at four Elementary Schools.

  • Microcosms — Youth Arts | Corrine Woodman Gallery
    • The Arts Center Outreach at Four Elementary Schools

Researchers in OSU’s Department of Microbiology study microbial systems that affect human health, biodiversity of animal species, and quality of air, earth and water. Scientific research such as this holds keys to our future, but understanding it is difficult for many people. This exhibition invites visitors, artists and researchers to take a fresh look at the “unseen.”  Microbiology tries to measure, visualize and understand complex microscopic systems in the same way artists seek understanding of life’s many questions. Past arts, science and technology collaboration at The Arts Center have been proven beneficial for artists, scientists and interested lay people alike.

Lead scholar for the project is Dr. Jerri Bartholomew, Professor, Department Head, Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professor of the Department of Microbiology of Oregon State University. Dr. Bartholomew is also an accomplished artist working in glass and her work is represented in the show. Students from her programs will share information about their research projects with during the CAW on Thursday May 18, 4 – 8 PM, with an added interactive presentation sponsored by da Vinci Days at 6 PM. 

Artwork in the MICROBIOMES: TO SEE THE UNSEEN exhibit makes connections between the science of microbiology, and how microorganisms are at the foundation of life.  Microbiologists often find beauty and patterns with the microbes with which they work. The featured artwork addresses a range of possible connections between art and microbiology research; wherever we could presenting an image of the artists’ source of inspiration.

Artists participating

  • Jerri Bartholomew
  • Michael Boonstra
  • Kate McGee
  • Chi Meredith
  • Amanda Salov
  • Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton
  • Debby Sundbaum-Sommers
  • Leslie Tejada
  • Wendy Yoder Holub
  • from Rural Alchemy Workshop Karin Bolander
  • Emily Stone
  • Bets Cole
  • Diane English
  • Pete Goldlust
  • Mike E. Walsh
  • Andries Fourie
  • Susan Circone
  • Eileen Nolan Kressel
  • Philip Benn
  • Meaghan Gates
  • Kristin LeVier
  • Linda Reichenbach
  • Johanna Rotko
  • Katherine Schwarting

Preview of Included ARTWORKS

About the Artwork: Artists learned about microbiology research being done at OSU and had opportunities to work in the lab with graduate student researchers. Artwork created for the show addresses a range of connections between art and microbiology. The exhibition features both invited artists and juried artists. Their work represents media such as glass, video, polymer and natural clay, photography, printmaking and painting. Two works are entirely participatory, either at The Arts Center or at a farm in Philomath. To register for the Rural Alchemy Workshop in Philomat contact hester@theartscenter.net.

A full color catalog with essays, poetry and images and statements from each artist accompanied the exhibit. The catalog documents connections between art and science, and the development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to STEAM (added art). The catalog was made possible with support from the Oregon Cultural Trust and OSU College of Science.  

More art+science:

Art + Science Project Blog

SPARK: Arts & Science @OSU

OSU Department of Microbiology

Complex Communities: an interactive artwork 

Calendar 2017:

  • April 13 – May 27, 2017 – Exhibition dates
  • April 20 – Reception and CAW | Thursday, 4 – 8 pm
  • April 27 –  Art Talk | Thursday, 12:15  – 1:15 pm
  • May 18 – May CAW | daVinci Days in May Lecture | Thursday, 4 – 8 pm
    • Graduate students with science stations
    • Rebekah Perry | Leonardo daVinci: The Artist & The Scientist
    • Food & Beverages cultured with scientific principles
  • May 21 – Poetry, Music and Performance | Sunday, 3 – 5 pm
  • WELCOME TO THE SECRETOME Workshop | Saturday, April 29, 10 – 12 pm 

WELCOME TO THE SECRETOME was a two-hour, site-specific workshop will feature performances by Domestic/Wild artists Emily Stone and Karin Bolender.

Sunday May 21, 3 – 4 pm, The Arts Center presented an afternoon of art + science with Dr. Jerri Bartholomew, Charles Goodrich of the Spring Creek Project and Dana Reason, instructor of Popular Music Studies at Oregon State University in the School of Arts & Communication. 

 OUR THANKS to Spring Creek Project, and to the following, for their support of this art+science collaboration: