Washington and Lee University will showcase two unusual new art exhibitions this month.
In the university’s Kamen Gallery, “Art in Science“ presents images from scientific endeavors as fine art. The images on display were all created by scientists who are W&L alumni, many of whom practice painting, sculpture or photography as a hobby. They were asked to submit images related to their scientific work.
Tyler Lorig, chairman of the university’s neuroscience program, organized the show, and students curated it.
Graduates ranging from the classes of 1953 to 2011 participated. One of the images, a photograph by 1986 graduate Guy Caldwell, has an interesting history. It was used in the program handed out at the awards ceremony for the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The photo depicts a microscopic worm genetically engineered so that its muscle cells emit a fluorescent glow. The Nobel that year went to three scientists who discovered the protein used to create the fluorescent effect and how to manipulate it, making it easier to study biological systems.
Other images range from microscopic close-ups to classic illustrations of species to medical scans. One scientist contributed an image that depicts the fiber pathways in his own brain.
In the university’s Williams Gallery, “Recorded History” assembles photographs taken by 1962 graduate Dennis Brack over five decades as a Washington photographer covering political figures and events. The show will include a mosaic of covers Brack shot for Time and Newsweek magazines. He’s also taken pictures for The Washington Post and has won numerous awards.