Science, art, and music-all in the same room
The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is a scientific research and education organization. Sixteen Ph.D. scientists explore pressing environmental problems including acid rain, forest health, the ecology of Lyme disease, and pharmaceuticals in our waterways. Postdoctoral associates and summer undergraduate researchers round out a robust scientific staff.
So why would a science organization host an exhibit for a landscape artist?
"I think what artists and scientists have in common is that we share a deep curiosity about the world around us."
Rebecca Allan explored our campus and created a series of paintings focusing on our creeks and wetlands. An opening for her exhibit, Tributary, included a talk by Allan about her creative process and another by scientist Dave Strayer, who discussed the ecology of the Hudson River and its tributaries.
Rebecca Allan has continued partnering with research organizations. She says scientists and artists share a desire to know the world at its most intimate and magnificent scales.
"I think that we have a desire to tease things apart in order to understand our world and bring it forward either as a means of preserving and protecting what we have, or, in the case of artists, as a way to express beauty."
I believe that creativity will happen best in both science and art when we rub shoulders with people with different approaches to knowledge. And when we share those different approaches in open forums, the public benefits.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Allan (Infant Stream Near Wappinger Creek, 2009 -acrylic on canvas – 56 x 58 inches
Produced in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, this podcast originally aired on August 8, 2012. To access a full archive of Earth Wise podcasts, visit: www.earthwiseradio.org.