Kristi Quillen, Poetry Intern


Kristi Quillen is an MFA in creative writing/poetry candidate at Oregon State University. She is interested in the interplay of visual art and the written word, which she explores through writing poetry in response to artwork and through letterpress and book art forms. Before moving to Corvallis, she was an editor at a sustainability magazine, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher trainer and mentor, and a high school literature teacher. She enjoys spending time in forests around Corvallis and is often inspired by trees, mosses, and lichen, which appear in her poems.

The Arts Center is excited to have Kristi as a writing intern for 2019, creating connections between the written word and visual art. Her poem, You Can, was created in conjunction with the Art of Being an Artist exhibit.


Conversations in the Corrine with Oregon State University School of Art and Communication Art Students on Wednesday,  Feb 7, 12 noon

Bring your lunch!

Exhibit runs in the Corrine Woodman Galleries I & II from Feb 6 – March 3, 2018

For more information


Oregon State University School of Art and Communication Art Students

in the Corrine Woodman Galleries I & II | Feb 6 – March 3, 2018

  • Conversation from the Corrine Woodman Gallery: Wednesday,  Feb 7, 12 noon

For more information

12th Annual Community Show

Non-Juried Exhibit


Submission Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2017
Exhibit Dates: July 5-July 27, 2017
Reception Date: July 13, 2017 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Subject Matter: Open
Number of Pieces: Maximum of (1) Piece Per Person 
Mediums Accepted: Any
Naming Structure of Each Piece: Artist Name, Title of Piece, Medium, Selling Price (or Not for Sale), Phone Number (must be attached to back of each piece of art to be accepted)
Fee: No cost.
Dimensions: Artwork Cannot to Exceed 4′ in Any Direction
Submit HERE to be included in the show!
*If you prefer NOT to fill out the submission form online, you can come into the office
with your art piece and fill out our paper copy of the form.
For questions please contact Tina Green-Price at
or call (541) 737- 3116

By Natalie Saleh

“A lot of people think bacteria are these bad terrible things that hurt us, but the vast majority of microbes are not bad. The vast majority of microbes could be described as good in a lot of ways,” says Ryan McMinds, a microbiology graduate student at Oregon State University and one of the members of the Global Coral Microbiome Project.

Understanding “Good Bacteria” in Coral

McMinds has travelled all over the world, studying the microbiomes of corals, from Saudi Arabia to Australia to the Virgin Islands, but  now he can most often be found working in the Rebecca Vega Thurber lab on campus.

McMinds’ work is essential in furthering our understanding of why coral reefs are being wiped out all over the world, so further destruction of coral reefs can be mitigated. To understand this issue, Vega Thurber’s lab is approaching the study of coral in a way that has never been done before.  

“A lot of previous research has focused on model species, and how environmental stressors might change microbes. What we want to do is expand this research to include the diversity of coral species. There’s about 350 million years’ worth of divergence within corals, and there are dozens and dozens of genera and species. Nobody has ever looked at them comparatively to see how different groups of corals have differently structured microbes,” says McMinds.

Despite how many coral reefs have deteriorated in the past few decades, scientists have been unable to identify the bacterial pathogens that have caused many of these diseases. Scientists have conducted a lot of research in pursuit of these bacteria, but even for each individual disease, the problem seems to be too complex to be explained by one bacterium.

To further this research, McMinds and the team are studying the “good” bacteria that do things like provide nutrients or defend the coral from potentially “bad” bacteria. A lack of these “good” bacteria could be the missing factor contributing to the destruction of the coral reefs.

Reaching Outside Academia

Beyond being an experienced researcher, McMinds is passionate about finding ways to reach out to people beyond the academic science community to share the knowledge he and his team are uncovering.

“We are getting the word out, educating people, just letting people know what’s happening. We are trying to do it in a way that’s trustworthy, directly from the source, not muddled by a third-party media. Getting the word out is extremely important if we want to save these reefs,” says McMinds.

McMinds and the team have partnered with videographers who accompany them on some of their trips across the world, like Lizard Island, The Red Sea, Varadero and Mo’orea, and document their work, 

“They’re interviewing the locals in a lot of these places, showing that this problem is not just about a pretty reef ecosystem. These are the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe, directly relying on coral reefs. As the entire ecosystem is disappearing, so are millions of people’s livelihoods. That’s scary,” says McMinds.

Microbiology pervades our lives. The research McMinds and other microbiologists are conducting can help us understand our connection to each other and the environment that surrounds us.

To see visualizations of what our connection to the microbiome looks like, attend To See the Unseen at The Arts Center from April 13 to May 27. Heres a link for more information


Header image | Mountain XV  by Christopher Russell 

Surface Tension:
Works by Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi

  • Exhibit runs October 5, 2017 – November 9, 2017
  • Opening Reception on Thurs, October 5, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • October 21, 6pm – Artist Talk with Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi – Free for Corvallis Art Center members and SPENW conference attendees. All others $10. 

The Exhibit and conversation are in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, at OSU, October 20 and 21.

Surface Tension is a two-person exhibition presenting works by artists Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi. This pairing acknowledges a shared lightness in the aesthetics of their work. However, this initial perception obscures a hidden drama that occurs below the surface of their photographs. Both artists mask their works with a veil of ethereality, enticing the viewer into closer engagement.

Portland-based artist Christopher Russell’s scratched and abraded photographs are often ambiguous and fractured, reflecting his exploration of the darker aspects of the human psyche. His photographs, taken in the landscape around Portland, have few traces of the original scene; relying on color and lens flare to entice. These ambiguous and yet seductive photographs are then scratched and re-worked to create images that imply a contrived but sublime landscape. Russell’s work appears in two dozen museum collections, including museums of contemporary art in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego and Antwerp. Russell received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and his MFA from the Art Center College of Design, CA. He is represented by the Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles.

Rafael Soldi’s project “Life Stand Still Here” explores internal dialogues and moments when life and its darkest facets can offer monumental symbolism. Through a variety of image-making techniques, Soldi deftly mixes portraiture and abstraction as a metaphor for personal loss. His images open the interplay between the viewer’s histories and his, a kind of dark mirroring that makes visible their shared psychic struggles. Based in Seattle, Soldi received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the King County Public Art Collection. Soldi is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, an online magazine and project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists.

Surface Tension is organized by Julia Bradshaw, Assistant Professor of Art and New Media Communications at Oregon State University. The exhibition is in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, which will take place at Oregon State University on 20/21 October. Alongside the Corvallis Art Center, SPENW is a sponsor of this exhibition.

For more information contact: Julia Bradshaw

08_Soldi_Veer_Surface Tension: Works by Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi

Rafael Soldi | Veer

Russell_Mountain XV08_Soldi_Veer_Surface Tension

Christopher Russell | Mountain XV









Many thanks to the sponsors for this exhibit


As part of the collaboration with The Arts Center on the upcoming Art Show: Microbiome: Seeing the Unseen, Microbiology graduate students are participating in a series of outreach activities with local elementary schools.

Graduate students will work with resident artists to create hands-on demos that link the science of microbiology with art projects for students in local elementary schools. The students will use what they have learned about microbiology to create artwork reflecting their interpretations of the microbial world. The artwork will be included as part of the final art exhibit at The Arts Center this spring.


Spark2 Spark3 Spark4


Spotlight on Dr. Jerri Bartholomew: Glass Representations of Microbiology

By Natalie Saleh

“Art trains your mind to be open to different solutions and to try new things,” says Dr. Jerri Bartholomew.

Her whole life Bartholomew has been fascinated with both science and art. She is a professor and the head of the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University, as well as an Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professor. Bartholomew is also an invited artist for “To See the Unseen” and has played an integral role in planning the exhibit.

Bartholomew studies pathogens and fish. She works with a lot with Pacific salmon, studying the naturally occurring diseases they get in the wild. She also studies how humans have caused changes to the environment, and how these changes impact fish and their pathogens.

“We study rivers where humans have caused changes, like constructing dams or decreasing water quality. Because of this, there are more thermal units in the streams, so the streams are warming up more than they used to. Essentially, we look at rivers that we have manipulated in some way to understand the effects on the fish and their pathogens,” explains Bartholomew.

Bartholomew’s projects include working on large rivers like the Deschutes, and she has been working on a long-term project on the Klamath River for the last 15 years.

While Bartholomew is an accomplished scientist, she is also an artist. Bartholomew does a lot of collage and photographic screen printing on glass. Though her artwork spans a variety of topics, in the last fifteen years she has begun incorporating science into her artwork.

In her recent series, “Pages from a Naturalist’s Notebook,” Bartholomew depicts the process of “dissecting an ecosystem into its components and attempting to describe how they interact,” through combining photos, sketches, and text about a place.

Experimentation and problem-solving play a large role in Bartholomew’s research and artwork.

“There’s a lot of problem-solving in what I do in the studio, and science is the same way. For my piece in the microbiome show, I’m going to experiment with adding video to glass, because art is not static. The video adds a whole new dimension to it,” explains Bartholomew.

Incorporating video into her glasswork will allow Bartholomew to showcase some of the incredible things parasites do. The parasites Bartholomew works with, for example, release a toxin, similar to a jellyfish stinging cell. The toxin comes from a coiled filament wrapped up in a cell that is then ejected and attaches to the host.

“It’s a rapid firing movement. We’ve captured fantastic videos of it. These are the kinds of things the public doesn’t get to see, so it’s a really nice opportunity to share,” says Bartholomew.

To learn more about Bartholomew’s research and artwork, come to microbiome show. You can also view more about her artwork here and here.


Pages From a Naturalist's Notebook - Jerri Bartholomew-1

Pages From a Naturalist’s Notebook – Jerri Bartholomew-1

By Natalie Saleh

“Scientists and artists used to be one, but I think along the way people started getting more and more focused on one or the other. Then people split into artists versus scientists,” says Wei Wei, a graduate student in Oregon State University’s Department of Microbiology.

As a creative problem-solver, Wei spends her time researching agrobacterium in the lab of Dr. Walt Ream. When she is not collecting or analyzing data, however, Wei enjoys painting and sketching, talents she has cultivated from a young age.

Currently Wei is working with a soil bacterium, called agrobacterium.

“Agrobacterium is really interesting, because it’s able to naturally genetically modify plants on its own. So if you ever see a big gall on a tree, kind of towards the bottom, that’s most likely an agrobacterium infection. What it does is transfer some genes to the plant, and it causes the plant to grow a lot of cells,” says Wei.

Agrobacterium impacts a lot of crops, such as stone fruit, grapes, and woody ornamentals. This is a problem in the nursery industry, because nurseries cannot sell plants that have this growth. Customers will not buy them. Unfortunately, up to 80% of a crop can be impacted by agrobacterium, causing a huge economic loss.

Though agrobacterium has clear negative impacts, Wei’s research aims to harness the power of agrobacterium to naturally genetically modify crops. For example, scientists can remove a harmful gene from a crop and replace it with a useful gene that they have inserted into the agrobacterium. Then the agrobacterium delivers that gene to the crop.

On a surface level, this project may not seem to have much in common with art. However, Wei sees a clear connection between the process of research and her process of painting.

“Artists of all sorts are very creative, but they also think in patterns. They have a principle of art, like what makes a piece good or not good. Scientists are also like that. They think very creatively to solve a problem, and they also look for patterns to help recognize something new,” explains Wei.

Wei’s experience with art shapes the way she conducts research, and her research impacts the way she creates artwork. Essentially artists are problem-solvers, just like researchers.

“I oftentimes will start painting something, and then this one little part does not work out the way I wanted it too. But instead of just getting rid of the whole piece, I have to dabble with it and make it work. I think that’s how I’ve always done my art, and I think it translates over into science,” says Wei.

Wei plans her experiments in careful, tidy steps. However, the experiment itself is never as tidy as her plan. When any steps deviate from the plan, she does not give up or start over. She adapts.

Passionate about sharing science with people outside the academic science community, Wei was eager to get involved with The Art Center’s “To See the Unseen.” She has ample experience with outreach, regularly participating in “Meet a Scientist” events in Portland and having taught microbiology lessons to elementary school students. Though Wei’s outreach has not yet extended to her artwork, she is excited to illustrate the microbiome through art, and again use her talent to educate others.

Header image artwork by Pete Goldlust

April 13 – May 27, 2017

is an exhibit inspired by microbiology research and research methods.

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. 

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.


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

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/Wildartists 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:

osu_science-college1 sparklogo osu_liberal-arts OAClogo culturaltrustlogogreen
ARTWORKS_logo CorvallisCityLogoVectorForPrint


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