Dozens of paintings, digital design prints and drawings lined the walls of the Oakshire Brewing Public House on the evening of Oct 24. Artists, scientists and community members gathered together to celebrate the intersection of art and science through the new program titled ArtSci. Nearly one hundred people came to visit the event that night, said Anne Martin, one of the three founders of the program.
The program’s goal is to illustrate the reliance that art and science have on each other, and to get locals interested in scientific research in which the University of Oregon is participating.
“Scientific graphics and images can compel community interest in science,” the ArtSci website states. “We seek to provide opportunities for research to reach the public and for scientists to engage with their communities.”
Martin said that all realms of science are welcome to participate in the exhibits, and that a large component of the program is to allow various scientists from a wide range of focuses to discover new ways to work together.
“Collaboration between scientists can be an important factor for pushing the frontiers of science forward,” said Martin. “Someone working in material science or biology can meet someone working in chemistry or physics and they can learn about each other's work.”
Three scientists at the UO originally conceived the program with the hopes of creating a conversation about using art to leverage the relevance of science, and they are working to build a bridge between people in two entirely different fields.
The newly-implemented program in Eugene had its official grand opening reception on Thursday, and many locals came to take part in the excitement. During the event, visitors were able to admire the new artwork and interact with both the artists and scientists. This gallery's theme was promoted as “Research as Art.” All of the work displayed will remain at Oakshire until Nov. 26.
Martin said that she looks forward to hosting more events similar to this one.
“We not only have ideas of ‘Research as Art’ exhibitions, but also ‘Art as Research’ exhibits. Scientists aren’t just scientists, they’re very creative people,” Martin said. “A lot of scientists are actually great artists. The next exhibition that we want to do is actually hosting an exhibit of fine art that’s created by scientists.”
Art isn’t the only focus. Martin strives to open up new workshops for researchers to learn how to communicate their fields to the community and to journalists.
“In terms of starting an organization, we want to have many events like this where we don’t only take research images and put them out into the community, but we can also train researchers on how to engage more with the community,” said Martin. “We’ll hold workshops that teach science communication skills.”
The next production that ArtSci will be putting together is a gallery called “The Art of Research.” They are currently looking for pieces that showcase artful interpretations of science-based research. Public donations or referrals can be submitted to its website.
Martin hopes that, through normalizing interactions between people and scientists, people will feel comfortable communicating differing ideas.
“There’s a common misconception that scientists are really good at talking to each other about their work, but really everyone is in their own research area and it’s hard sometimes to build that bridge,” she said. “Through these collaborations, we can do better science.”