Art show to explore intersection of science and art

Exploring the intersection of art and science

In its search for truth, science often finds beauty as well. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute’s Spring 2014 art exhibition will explore the intertwining of science and art.

Virginia Tech Carilion invites the community to attend the opening of the exhibition – The Art of Science and the Science of Art – on Thursday, April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Guests can view the art on the first and second floors of the medical school side of the complex and attend a reception in the atrium. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

“One reason this show is so noteworthy is because it’s a joint effort of the school of medicine and the research institute,” said Dr. David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the program’s founder. “We’re privileged to have such outstanding talent in our area as well as exceptional programs for people who deal with developmental disabilities, dementia, and other chronic health-related issues. Our goal is to serve as a showcase for bringing these together.”

As a special feature during the reception, two neuroscientists from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute will give brief gallery talks. Michael Fox, an associate professor who does research on how the brain’s visual processing centers develop, will talk about the art of science. Rosalyn Moran, an assistant professor whose research centers on the neurobiology of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, will present details on how changes in the brain can lead to changes in art.

“A major focus of the research institute is on understanding the changes that occur in our brains throughout the lifespan both under so-called normal conditions and in response to challenges such as intellectual disabilities, brain injury at birth or later in life, aging, and neurodegenerative disorders,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “By investigating the function and structure of the brain under a variety of conditions and in response to challenges, we can appreciate the creativity and amazing adaptive capacity of nature’s most exquisite artistic machine.”

The Art of Science and the Science of Art will also feature an exhibition of art and stories created by participants in the Arts Fusion Program of the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Arts Fusion seeks to create an environment that promotes creative expression, interpersonal connections, and enjoyment for people with dementia, as well as their caregivers and family members.

“With Dr. Moran’s gallery talk and displays by participants in the Arts Fusion program,” Friedlander said, “we hope to shed some light on what art looks like as we age.”

The art show will feature mixed media, photography, and quilts. It is the eighth in a series sponsored by the Creativity in Health Education Program of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, which strives to expand the social, cultural, and humanistic awareness of its students while involving community members in the life of the school.

The artwork will be on display through the end of the summer. The building usually has restricted access, so the April 17 event will provide an ideal opportunity for the public to view the artwork. Following the opening, viewing of the art will be by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, email Rocio Tisdell or call her at 540-526-2571.

Written by Catherine Doss.