The Sci-Art Gallery
Welcome to the second year of the Sci-Art Gallery!
While science and art may seem worlds apart, they have more in common than one might think. Our goal is to not only engage the public in science using different art mediums, but to also showcase the the beauty in science and the diverse talent in our local community. Artists will be sharing their works inspired by cells, animals, the natural world, math, physics and more.
If you've visited the gallery last year, get ready for even bigger and better exhibits!
Please check back around March for more updates about our featured artists for this year's gallery. See below for our list of artists from last year!
Image Artists (top left to bottom right): Diana Hamer, Nicole Partyka, Harrison Taylor, Stephen Morris, Ke Fan Bei, Gordana Specanovic and Vicky Jackson
From the vibrant shapes and colours of diverse living organisms, to the graceful designs of aerodynamic vehicles, and the stars and planets that paint our night sky, 2018 will see the inauguration of the SciArt Gallery!
The SciArt Gallery will host artists from the Toronto area whom have been inspired by Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics to create different forms of art.
Many of these artists are scientists by trade and the SciArt Gallery will aim to create an environment where collaboration between these two disciplines is fostered.
Using different art mediums (ceramics, paintings, textiles, dance, music, theatre and more!), the goal of the SciArt Gallery will be to engage youth, the public, and the Arts and Science communities of Toronto. The SciArt Gallery aims to stimulate and promote the synthesis of art/science awareness by teaching science through art as well as art through science!
Read about the amazing artists featured at the 2018 SciArt Gallery:
Stephen Morris is interested in self-organized, emergent patterns and textures. Stephen Morris is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto and takes photos of patterns both from the natural world and of experiments in his laboratory. Patterns naturally attract casual attention but are also the subject of serious scientific research. Some things just evolve all by themselves into strikingly regular shapes and textures. Why? These shapes emerge spontaneously from a dynamic process of growing, folding, cracking, wrinkling, branching, flowing and other kinds of morphological development. Stephen Morris’ photos are informed by the scientific aesthetic of nonlinear physics, and mathematics lurks behind every image for those who know where to look for it. But no special knowledge is required to appreciate the results. Each image shows an object, sometimes quite small and often familiar, with a self-composed regular structure. Some images are from laboratory physics experiments and some are from Nature, and all celebrate the subtle interplay of order and complexity in emergent patterns. Stephen Morris’ photos are a kind of “Scientific Folk Art” of the science of Emergence.
Matt Russo/SYSTEM Sounds
SYSTEM Sounds is a science-art outreach project that converts the rhythm and harmony of the cosmos into music and sound. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, on CBC's Quirks and Quarks. In 2018 they created Our Musical Universe, a sound-based planetarium show that helps make astronomy more accessible to the visually impaired.
Twitter: @system_sounds @astromattrusso
Trevor Mckinven refers to himself as an accidental artist. While growing up in the rural region of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, he leaned towards the sciences and mathematics while having painting/sketching a pure hobby. Geography was his focus in University and only after a move to Europe did he become more entrenched and passionate about creating art and exploring that world. With 15 years of shows and hundreds of commissions under his belt, Trevor’s paintings hang in private collections throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Though most of his pieces are realist landscapes and portraiture, a recent foray into 'Astroscapes' was a happy accident resulting from a piece commissioned to paint the Crab Nebula. Capturing the Crab on canvas spurned a passion to paint more of these other worldly images. The flowing abstract of swirling colours combines with precision in executing a Nebula. The abstract approach and imagery simultaneously coexists with strict parameters one must follow. The ever-expanding discoveries and scientific advancements gift us these stunning ‘Spacescapes' to ponder and play with. Trevor paints with pure pleasure uniting these vastly different worlds on canvas.
Ke Fan Bei
Ke Fan Bei is an undergraduate immunology specialist student at the University of Toronto and she loves to paint between her studies. Enrolled in a visual arts program at her high school, she was able to develop her skills. As both a science student and young artist, Ke utilizes acrylic and oil to explore the bridge between the two worlds. A microscopic cell can be easily reflected in the form of stars and planets and, lungs can be seen as a tree. Ke also loves to explore other traditional and non-traditional mediums such as watercolor and yarn. In preparation for the upcoming SciArt Gallery, Ke is painting more interdisciplinary artworks exploring the connection between science and art.
See some of her work here!
Radha Chaddah is a Toronto based visual artist and scientist. Born in Owen Sound, Ontario she studied Film and Art History at Queen’s University (BAH), and Human Biology at the University of Toronto, where she received a Master of Science for her research on stem cells. Chaddah uses light as her primary medium to make art about invisible realms, from the microscopic world to electromagnetism. Her work examines the interconnected themes of knowledge, illusion, desire and the unseen world. In her studio, she designs projected light installations for public exhibition. In the laboratory, she grows and photographs cells using fluorescent light-emitting molecules. Her cell photographs and light installations have been exhibited across Canada. She has lectured on her artistic process and stem cell biology at OCADU, the University of Toronto, the Ontario Science Centre and the Textile Museum of Canada.
Gordana Scepanovic and Vicky Jackson
Vicky Jackson has a strong interest in science and has continuously explored science on the canvas using a variety of media. Gordana Scepanovic is a PhD candidate with the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto and is fascinated by the art behind the images taken using confocal microscopy. Much of their work has been inspired by fellow scientists in the field and together they have been able to unite scientific knowledge with artistic technique. Their work is best viewed as a collaboration of paintings referred to as "Under the Microscope“ and were primarily inspired by real confocal microscopy images including the natural patterning of epithelial cells and plant cells, neuronal interactions, and butterfly scales. These two SciArtists continue to explore the marriage of these seemingly different fields and share their work with the community.
Nicole Partyka is a queer artist and science lover based in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a degree in Human Biology: Health and Disease, and a diploma in Media Communications. Nicole has a love of digital illustration, painting, and writing, all of which she hopes to combine to create a career in science communications. Her particular interests in science are virology, astronomy, theoretical physics, entomology, evolutionary biology, science education and of course, the heart. Nicole is also a huge science fiction fan, particularly Star Trek, where all her film, art, and nerdy science interests collide!
Jianing Lu is an undergraduate student with the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto and uses different forms of creative expression to discuss the questions brought up by the process of scientific discovery: from the dawn of humanity to the cyber era. She has been studying visual arts since the age of five with most of her earlier art education under the direction of Mr. Xue Wen Biao (薛文彪), a famous art educator based in Shanghai, China. Jianing has always been fascinated by how science and art intersect: Natural laws reflect a sense of artistic beauty, and the beauty is, in essence, rational and based on order and symmetry.
Rebecca Michaels is a 2nd year student at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about science communication and loves nothing more than creating connections between her major in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and her two minors in Visual Studies and English. Rebecca is an aspiring illustrator and believes that the best way to learn and teach science is through an application of creativity.
Miguel Pinzon and is a freelance artist and his style varies from airbrushing, pen illustrating, graffiti, life-drawing, graphic art to urban pop art. He has studied art throughout high school, Seneca College and at the University Of Toronto (Scarborough Campus). Miguel has done several community art events and has instructed art work shops for camps and schools. Science has inspired and will continue to inspire me in a sense through the world of Biology. His primary inspirations are animals, and he remembers he would go every summer to the Toronto Zoo to sit and sketch the animals present. From how they adapt to their unique environments to their unique characteristics, Miguel aims to depict this through his artwork. Biology will continue to be an inspiration in his artwork as he continues to progress as an artist.
Nicole Clouston is an artist completing her PhD in Visual Art at York University. In her ongoing work with the Great Lakes, she has been exploring the importance of place, memory, and our connection to a broader ecology. Nicole works with mud to expose the vast array of life in soil and the ways people are connected by it. Mud is collected and then placed along with nutrients that encourage microbial growth in clear acrylic prisms. When exposed to light, the microorganisms already present in the mud begin to flourish, becoming visible in the form of vibrant marbling. Nicole’s work with mud arose out of a desire to engage with microbial life. Microbes – organisms invisible to the naked eye – form vast, complex communities around, on, and within our bodies. We actually have ten times more microbial cells than human ones. Microbes pass in and out of our bodies, permeating what we perceive to be the barrier between ourselves and everything else. This community of microbes supports our growth, helps us eat, protects us from pathogens, produces vitamins, and much more we don’t fully understand. Although the microbial life in the work is not directly from our bodies, it calls attention to the complex web of microbes that we are dependent upon.
HotPopRobot is a maker-family enterprise co-founded by family members Artash (11 years), Arushi (8 years), Rati and Vikas to bring discussion on science, space exploration, and technology in everyday conversation. They have made over 20 space projects which have been displayed at the Ontario Science Centre, Maker Festival (Toronto) and won the Canada Space Apps Challenge as well as the NASA Space Apps Challenge in 2017. Their most recent project is a Sound and Visual show on the Trappist1 planetary system, which was displayed for three days at the SciTechArt Fair at the Ontario Science Centre and has been recognised by Michael Gillon, the discover of the Trappist1 System. HotPopRobot encourages families and kids to become creators and not just consumers, by undertaking projects on space, robotics, artificial intelligence, and science.
Working with metals, computer coding and animation since the mid-eighties, Tosca Teran was introduced to glass as an artistic medium in 2004. By developing bodies of work incorporating metal, glass and electronics, Tosca has been awarded scholarships at The Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and The Penland school of Crafts. Her work has been featured at SOFA New York, Culture Canada, Metalsmith Magazine, The Toronto Design Exchange, and the Memphis Metal Museum. Tosca’s work explores terrestrial manifestations and conjectures the future implications (positive or negative) of technology, science and politics and the environment through a multi-disciplinary approach, combining tactile, sculptural forms, audio and more recently, scent. Creating immersive environments, unnatural History Dioramas, and performative, wearable structures. Tosca’s one of a kind ‘jewelry’ often serve as maquettes and experiments towards larger sculptural work. If the world of science is synonymous with truth and the world of art with that of fiction, Tosca treads a middle ground that is unusual and seemingly beyond belief, yet also familiar.
For Laurence Packer, it has been the other way around, the aesthetic beauty of insects has inspired his science and he has always tried to make his scientific work as aesthetic as possible. Laurence is a melittologist and a Professor with the Department of Biology and Environmental Studies at York University, where his research focuses on wild bees. Laurence has captured the beauty of insects through his stunning photography and his work at the SciArt Gallery will delve more closely into the question of “What is a bee?" and will be profusely illustrated with his many photographs.
Harrison Taylor and Noah Hammond
Nature, to both the artist and the scientist, is art in its purest state - behind its exquisite patterns lie a truth and meaning to the natural laws of our earth and the universe, and still deeper, a glimpse into our connectivity to all things. Artist Harrison Taylor and Planetary Scientist Noah Hammond are collaborating on a science-based art series that showcases the icy world of Pluto. In 2015, NASA's New Horizon spacecraft captured stunning up-close photos of Pluto's surface as it flew by. Many bizarre and beautiful landforms can be observed. Although 40 billion miles from Earth, glimpses of the geologic patterns can be seen that speak to the eons of change over countless planetary canvases. Images of Pluto will be presented and chosen to highlight the unique frozen majesty of its surface and to open people's minds to the infinite natural beauty hiding in the reaches of deep space. Scientist Hammond brings forward an analytical take of such images, while artist Taylor views the images through a more subjective lens. The magic therein lies where these two perspectives meet - how they inform one another and how they influence each other, for nature itself informs and influences both art and science alike.
Peggy Muddles/The Vexed Muddler
Peggy Muddles creates unique ceramic science jewellery, with a focus on cell biology, microbiology, and anatomy. She got her first microscope at 11, and first dissection kit shortly thereafter. Peggy was destined for biology, and any fool could see it. She had another love, though, and that was art. The same bedroom that proudly displayed beetles and dragonflies also housed two large drafting tables, and often smelled of linseed oil. Peggy painted, mostly, but sketched a little as well. Little wonder then, that she was conflicted about her future. It took many years and a long, circuitous path for Peggy to find her balance. Now Peggy labours happily by day in a genomics lab, where she works with Cystic Fibrosis-related bacteria, and her evenings and weekends in the studio or on my sofa, dreaming up new designs.
Prof. Geoffrey Ozin and Todd Siler (ArtNano Innovations)
In 2011, Geoffrey Ozin co-founded ArtNano Innovations with Artist Todd Siler. Using multimedia artworks and aesthetic experiences, they aim to explore the possibilities of nature-inspired innovations in nanoscience and nantechnology that can benefit humankind by meeting our global challenges. This project considers new ways of synthesizing and responsibly applying nanomaterials. Prof. Geoffrey Ozin is a world-renowned scientist with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto and his ArtNano Innovations collaboration has been exhibited in NYC and the CU Art Museum in Colorado and along with cerebralist and distinguished artist Todd Siler they have published numerous articles about their collaboration.