The MDI Biological Laboratory’s fourth annual Art Meets Science exhibit will take place summer 2015 at its Salisbury Cove campus. “Is It Art or Is It Science?” focuses on works that were created to be either artistic or scientific, or both, and which reflect the research interests of the Institution’s scientists.
“Both artists and scientists use creativity and the discovery process to create images of the world,” says Bonnie Gilfillan, who directs the Art Meets Science program. “You can’t always tell whether something was produced for scientific or artistic purposes. We’re interested in works that blur the boundaries between these disciplines.”
Forty Maine, national, and international artists are featured as well as collaborations between artist Kimberly Callas and scientist Jim Coffman, Ph.D., and artist Beth Pfeiffer and scientist Ben King, M.S.
The exhibit is open from July 1 through September 30, 2015, with an opening reception on July 9 and special events throughout the summer. Public tours are available and registration is required.
Art Meets Science explores the similarities and intersections between the two disciplines and creates a space where artists, scientists, and the public can communicate and learn from one another.
Science and art describe the world to us and offer new ways of understanding the diverse and complex realities of life. Both share a rich history of discovery and the search for truth. Each is a tangible, physical endeavor; each relies on abstraction.
The MDI Biological Laboratory’s own history is linked to that of art on Mount Desert Island. George Dorr, one of the founders of Acadia National Park, convinced the small Harpswell Laboratory to move to the island to join the community of those who “studied” its exceptional environment as artists and biologists. Once situated at Salisbury Cove, it became the MDI Biological Laboratory. Having a relationship with its exceptional location—with the physical environment and the community—is as important to the Laboratory and its scientists as it is for island artists.
The 2014 exhibit featured the work of 43 artists as well as collaborations between artists Ed Nadeau and Liz Cutler and scientists Aric Rogers and Sandra Rieger, respectively. The sculpture of David Sywalski and Melita Westerlund was also highlighted. Annette Carvajal of AiPS: Art in Public Spaces curated the exhibit.
Twenty-three Maine artists participated in the 2013 exhibit. Artists Ben Lincoln, Nancy Manter, and Katherine Noble Churchill collaborated with scientists Dustin Updike, Voot Yin, and Jane Disney, respectively.