Schoodic Education and Research Center campus in the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park (credit:  Schoodic Institute)
Schoodic Education and Research Center campus in the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park (credit: Schoodic Institute)

 

On September 30, I attended the first annual symposium Art and Environmental Science Collaborations, sponsored by the Schoodic Institute and Acadia National Park. The goal of the symposium was to bring together scientists, artists, and others interested in how to integrate art and science to “connect people to nature, improve scientific understanding, and advance scientific research,” with an emphasis on downeast Maine, which includes Acadia National ¬†Park.

We heard from several professors and others who are successfully blending art and science. They then participated in a panel discussion and answered questions from the audience. In the afternoon, we engaged in “speed dating,” for artists and scientists to explore potential collaborations.

Although I am an artist, I have a science background and began my career in neuroscience studying the brain. I eventually followed a different path, but have always loved the biological sciences, nature, wildlife and–of course–MAINE and ACADIA NATIONAL PARK. Since I’ve never participated in a symposium like this, I was not sure what to expect or what I hoped to get out of the day.

I’m glad I participated and I’m interested in pursuing this idea of incorporating science in my art. I’m not sure yet, however, how I want to do this. I am going to begin by submitting work in the Mount Desert Island Biological Lab’s (MDIBL) Art Meets Science exhibition next summer.

Art Meets Science explores the similarities and intersections between the two disciplines and creates a space where artists, scientists, and the public can communicate and learn from one another.

Over the winter, I will create paintings specifically for the 2015 Art Meets Science exhibition, and will continue to contemplate how this fits into my long-term artistic goals. I’m already mulling an idea for the Art Meets Science paintings…stay tuned.