This Week in Virology Art

The most recent guest on This Week in Virology (or TWiV) is none other than our own Michele Banks. Michele welcomes host Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University into her home for an extended conversation about the hows and whys of her science-inspired art.

For those of you who are not regular readers of Michele’s Art of Science series, what I have always found fascinating about discussing art and the process of creation with Michele, is her engagement with the current art world and the history of art, with an honesty and clarity that is quite brave – when so many artists armor themselves (like scientists) against public judgment in overly complex jargon.

I can’t send Michele to everyone’s living room to have that conversation with you; but, thanks to TWiV, I can send Michele’s living room to you.

Art of Science: Send Me to the Arctic, for Science and Art

Help support my art-science residency in Finland and this Reindeer Moss could be yours.
Help support my art-science residency in Finland and this Reindeer Moss could be yours.

I have been writing about the intersection of science and art here at The Finch & Pea for the past 3 years. I’ve been painting cells, bacteria, viruses and more for even longer, but I’ve never had the opportunity to work with real scientists in a lab – until now! I’ve been selected to be the Artist-in-Residence at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Finland in October and November 2015.

This is Kilpisjärvi. Photo by Tea Karvinen
This is Kilpisjärvi. Photo by Tea Karvinen

I’m very excited about this opportunity and I’m asking for your help to make it happen. I just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help pay my expenses for this amazing experience.

Installation view of Culture Dishes at AAAS, 2014
Installation view of Culture Dishes at AAAS, 2014

The Ars Bioarctica Residency Program is a joint project of the Finnish Bioart Society and Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in sub-Arctic Lapland. The residency has an emphasis on the Arctic environment and art-science collaboration. I’ll have access to the station’s lab and equipment and I’ll be working side-by-side with scientists conducting research on vegetation, local fauna, and soil chemistry. izzyscarffinland2Kilpisjärvi’s location near the Arctic Circle puts it on the front lines of climate change, a subject of much of my recent art.

Like most art residencies, this one is unfunded. I hope to raise enough money through Indiegogo to cover my travel and room and board and to buy some art supplies. To thank you for your support, I’ve come up with an array of amazing perks, including a scarf and print based on Reindeer Moss, a lichen native to the region.

There’s lots more information about the residency on my Indiegogo page. Please look, click, spread the word, and support sciart!

UPDATE: As of 5pm on May 14, this project is fully funded! Thank you so much for your support.

Science Caturday: All the Artz

hoominartMichele is busy this weekend presenting her art to “hoomins” at Artscape (18-20 July in Baltimore). Your regular Science Caturday service will resume next week.


Screenshot 2014-07-17 22.05.33

If you are in the Baltimore want to see Michele Banks and her fabulous science art in person, you can visit her at Artscape tomorrow through the rest of the weekend (18-20 July). Remember, our artists can’t support themselves.

RYBG Blood Cells by Michele Banks


Art in Situ

photo (12)photo (9)We were rehanging some of our art from Michele Banks today. The first is on a wall in our family room. The second is on the wall of our downstairs, guest bathroom, which we just repainted.

Where is yours? You do have some “Artologica” Art, don’t you?

If not, go here as quickly as possible to correct that situation.

%d bloggers like this: