Thursday, August 30, 2012

Science & Art

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I need Summer to be over (luckily I'm about to get my wish) because I need to get some sort of routine going that allows me to go back to blogging regularly. Working Summer hours and traveling on the weekends is not conducive to such things. However, lest I write one measly blog post for the entire month of August, I'm here to provide a lot of links to some great artists who find inspiration in science because the intersection of science and art has been on my mind  since I watched this video on painting with cells from the Broad Institute.

As someone who isn't particularly artistically talented, but strongly admires those who are, I've really started picking up on how many great science artists there are. My foremost source for science art and related science art news is the Scientific American blog Symbiartic. The blog is co-authored by scientific illustrator Kalliopi Monoyios (she did the illustrations for Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish which is an awesome book by the way) and scientific illustrator and fine artist Glendon Mellow. I think the blog is an awesome thing to have in the SciAm blog network because it brings up content and issues that I find really interesting, but wouldn't necessarily find or think about without prompting. 

An artist whose work I found through Symbiartic is "Surly" Amy Davis Roth whose Surly-Ramics etsy shop is full of necklaces that are beautiful and unique, with great science themes. I covet the majority of them, and would have gone on a shopping spree by now if I didn't need to cut back on my jewelry buying ways. Surly Amy is also a blogger for Skepchick and Mad Art Lab

Perhaps the only area of art that I have some sense of knowledge and ability is photography, but I certainly don't come close to having skills like those of biologist and photographer Alex Wild. Wild's blog Myrmecos is full of up close pictures of insects. He can even make a wasp look cute

I recently moved, and have been on the look out for awesome science art to fill my currently blank white walls. Lucky for me I didn't have to look too hard because Michele Banks' Artologica etsy shop was right in my twitter feed. I think sometimes that twitter is a time-sink, but etsy is worse. I could spend hours looking through all the amazing things that I couldn't make myself like a painting of Unicorn blood cells

Every single year I am completely dazzled by the entries in the Nikon Small World photomicrography contest. Photomicrography is just what it sounds like, taking a picture of something that you see through a microscope. With some incredibly high powered microscopes and cameras, and a little fluorescent staining, the images are truly spectacular. The contest now also has a video component which I think is pretty cool. The contest is held every year, but I think the 2009 winning photograph of Arabidopsis thaliana by Heiti Paves is my favorite.

That is just a (very) small sampling of some of the science art that you can find out there on the interwebs. I would really love any recommendations for other artists whose websites, shops, or blogs I could check out. Who are some of your favorite science artists? What do you like about them? 

Note: Sorry for the post about art that has absolutely no pictures. I didn't include any pictures of these artists' work because I wrote this post spur of the moment and thus didn't ask for permission to do so. I do hope that you'll click the links though and see their work for yourself!


  1. Interesting article. But have you heard about other sites that exhibit different kind of science based art?
    How about checking this site: