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Recap: Science and art combine in Sci / Art exhibition and Cabinet of Curiosities


Throughout Concordia's Science Odyssey, students blogged about their Odyssey experiences. Andrew Anderson is an BSc student who just completed his third year with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, attended the Odyssey's Sci/Art vernissage and Cabinet of Curiosities on May 18.

Arts and Sciences ... two subjects which are often associated together, to the surprise of some. As a biochemist, the marriage of these two terms has always confused me. What does science have to do with art, and vice versa?

Well, at Concordia, for Day Seven of Science Odyssey, a 'Sci/Art' vernissage was held to show how arts and sciences are two sides of the same coin. Throughout the day, various floors of the EV building showcased different scientific fields and how they could be displayed artistically.

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One showcase, done by humanities PhD student Darian Goldin Stahl, displayed the relationship between the cold life of a hospital patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) using encaustic (wax-based paint) transfer on silk. This illusionary printing technique, designed by Darian herself, creates a piece of fabric which appears as if it were 3D, when in reality it is as thin as a sheet of paper! Stahl and chemistry and biochemistry PhD student Paola Andrea Rojas Gutiérrez even worked on an art project together. A chemist and a printmaker both managed to collaborate to mesh art with science, and the end product showcased a mixture of printmaking with the usage of specific cells.

Smaller Cabinet

The day’s exhibitions included a Cabinet of Curiosities, curated by chemistry and biochemistry graduate student Alan Lopes. Inspired by similar cabinets dating from Renaissance times, the collected objects took visitors on a journey from centuries-old science to cutting-edge modern research tools.

The vernissage demonstrated that arts can be incorporated with STEM subjects, effectively renaming it to STEAM (which quite frankly, sounds better than STEM).

The term ‘STEAM’ should therefore be used when discussing arts and sciences, as both subjects can work together, benefitting scientists and artists alike. Boundaries can be pushed and brains can be picked, as different approaches are employed by both parties, forming cross-disciplinary discoveries, cementing the importance of arts in science, and of science in art.

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