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Community & Collaboration

We have finished the second week of the Artist in Residence program!

Building a sense of community through virtual programming can be challenging. While the small hubs help unite people at their home institutions, we aim to enable artists to establish these connections across different groups. And what better way to achieve that than through "blind dates?"

Of course, these are actual "dates," but opportunities for student-artists to discuss their shared scientific and artistic interests. Looking back on these "dates," it was exhilarating to see the diverse range of scientific interests expressed, including pathology, immunology, genetics, mental health, public health, and environmental science. Similarly, a wide array of artistic interests emerged. Along with painting, illustration, and sculpting, artists were also keen on exploring fashion, product design, and dance with science and art.

Although no two students had identical backgrounds, scientific interests, or preferred artistic mediums, many science artists encountered similar struggles in merging their passion for art with the world of science or finding artistic opportunities to contribute to science without necessarily being part of the research process. The benefit of bringing together such a diverse group of individuals in this program is the opportunity to share ways to engage with science and art. While each individual might only be aware of one or two such opportunities, collectively, the group built an awe-inspiring network comprising museums, fellowships, programs, magazines, and more.

What are the different ways that Science-Artmanifest across our hubs? Each institutional Hub is represented in color, with national opportunities listed in black.

The most exciting development this week was pairing artists with their respective labs! Participating labs across the U.S. shared videos showcasing their research and explained the types of art that would help support their research. This allowed students to select labs that aligned with their scientific or artistic interests, or even both. The diversity in research areas and artistic ideas was truly remarkable! Here are just a few labs participating in the program!

Bratton Lab - Vanderbilt University: The Bratton lab focuses on microscope design and studies bacteria's individual and colony shapes. They are interested in illustrations that aid in microscope education and data-driven microbial trading cards!

Guillemin Lab - University of Oregon: The Guillemin lab investigates how bacteria colonize animals and compete with other bacterial colonies. They seek cover art, graphical abstracts, and science communication materials to provide a perspective from the bacteria's point of view.

Fitzgerald Lab - UMass Chan Medical School: The Fitzgerald Lab examines how the innate immune system functions to fight disease and what happens when it goes awry. They are interested in videos demonstrating the innate immune pathway in action and visuals for social media communication platforms like Twitter.

The Artist in Residence program continues to unfold with promising collaborations and opportunities for artists to contribute their unique perspectives to scientific research. Stay tuned for more updates as the program progresses!

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