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Art in Science on Display at W&L's Kamen Gallery

Images highlighting the work of Washington and Lee University alumni who are scientists form an unusual art exhibit in the University’s Kamen Gallery, opening April 30 and continuing through May 17.

Alumni scientists were asked to submit images not from their hobbies as painters, sculptors or photographers but rather from their scientific work. Consequently, the show offers an assortment of subjects and techniques. For instance, there are microscopic images of an adult mouse hippocampus, illustrations of sea stars of the Galapagos, and a post-operative computed tomography, or CT, scan of the brain.

One of the works depicts a microscopic nematode roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, which was genetically engineered to illuminate the muscle cells lining its body. The image, taken in the University of Alabama laboratory of Guy Caldwell, a 1986 Washington and Lee alumnus, was the official representation of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Martin Chalfie (Columbia University) for the discovery of the jellyfish Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), a revolutionary tool for cellular imaging now used worldwide.  The image appeared in the program for the 2008 Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm.

“What all of these images have in common is that they convey the scientists’ findings with poignancy, clarity and, quite often, beauty,” said exhibition organizer Tyler Lorig, the Ruth Parmly Professor of Psychology and chair of the Neuroscience Program at W&L.

A student panel selected the works and curated the show. Alumni with artwork included in the exhibit represent class years ranging from 1953 to 2011.

A reception to celebrate these works of art is planned in the Kamen Gallery on Friday, May 11 at 4 p.m. Following the reception, Corinne Sandone, associate professor of art as applied to medicine at Johns Hopkins University, will lecture on the power of the image in science in the concert hall of Wilson Hall.

Sandone specializes in surgical illustration and has used watercolors to create several surgical atlases. The co-author of the “Cameron-Sandone Atlas of Gastrointestinal Surgery,” she teaches and illustrates in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. A board-certified medical illustrator (CMI), Sandone received her B. A. in studio art from Oberlin College in 1982. She did graduate work at Johns Hopkins, receiving her M.A. in medical and biological illustration in 1986.

See a sample of the images below. Click on each image to enlarge.

Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
(540) 458-8459

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