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Artist in Residence Summer 2023: A Promising Start

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

The Artist in Residence program has officially kicked off for the Summer of 2023! The program commenced with an introductory meeting on June 10th and will continue through August 8th.

The Artist in Residence program has been successfully running for over five years with finished art-finding applications in labs, presentations, and even as published cover art. This summer's virtual meetings and workshops program is being maintained, but with a few notable changes that build from previous years' success.

Student artists are matched with a laboratory where they will create art aligned with the lab's specific needs. While the typical scope of this collaboration involves abstract or illustrative cover art and infographics, artists are encouraged to bring their creativity to the table! This year, we have already heard some exciting project ideas related to dance and fashion this summer.

Unlike in previous years, this year artists will be more active in selecting the topics and labs with which they will be matched. Researchers will provide videos describing their field of study and outlining how science-inspired art can benefit their work, allowing artists to rank labs based on scientific or artistic interests. We will then share these matches for the labs for feedback. Over the next week, student artists will interview lab members to ensure a compatible environment and shared understanding of the project for collaboration.

Another significant change is the introduction of hubs. Hubs are created from small groups of artists from the same institution and will serve as a platform for connecting students within these groups. Notably, the hubs will bring the art created within this program back to their home institution. This collaborative network fosters connections lasting beyond the program's duration, bolstering existing science-art communities or giving rise to new ones. How each hub chooses to do this is up to them!

The Summer 2023 Artist in Residence program is starting strong, with artists developing hubs representing over six institutions. During the introductory session, students engaged with program leaders and peer mentors (alums of the Artist in Resident program) and met with their hubs, igniting the creative brainstorming process!

When asked about their aspirations for the program, our 2023 summer artists expressed a wide range of goals:

"I want to learn about different ways of publishing"
"Work with other artists"
"Improve my skills and expand my portfolio"
"Connect with different departments"
"Create art outside of traditional fine arts"
"Create a website"
"Push me creatively"
"Bridge the gap between art and science"
"Gain digital art experience"
"Learn science from the lab"
"Gain some experience as a medical illustrator"
"Create a project around dance and neural brain activity!"
"Learn how to communicate science effectively"
"Learn more about the intersection of art and science"
"Learn how to make science more accessible"
"Build connections with scientists"

The diverse range of answers highlights the overarching objective of the program: to foster transdisciplinary connections that mutually benefit both artists and scientists. Throughout the summer, artists will engage in workshops exploring topics relevant to science-art design and the publishing industry. Thanks to the virtual nature of the program, artists, and labs across the United States can easily connect and collaborate. Their final presentations and artworks from previous VI4 Artists-in-Residence experience will be showcased in an exhibition at Vanderbilt on August 7th-8th.

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