A group of students at Northeastern University have spearheaded a new initiative that aims to unite the local art and research communities. This modern day science fair, called The Art of Research, will be accepting submissions this fall. We recently spoke with one of the primary organizers, Ph.D. candidate Nick Tooker, about his work on the project.
Nick describes The Art of Research as “an interdisciplinary art show that will feature student-generated images of their research at Northeastern.” The project was inspired by similar events held on campuses across the country, which tended to only include research involving the sciences. The Northeastern installment, however, will be open to researchers of all disciplines.
To enter the event, students submit an image stemming from their own research projects. Entries will be judged and the finalists’ works will be displayed in a gallery on campus. There are no specific requirements for entry; students are free to interpret the contest in their own way. The hope is that by gazing at scientific work through a uniquely artistic lens, researchers and gallery viewers alike can broaden their perspective.
Tooker and his fellow organizers decided to start this project in order to emphasize the artistic creativity that is baked into science and engineering pursuits, as well as the rigor of the scientific method behind most work in the arts and humanities. They hope to showcase the unique intersection between the arts and sciences while also highlighting some of the amazing work happening on Northeastern’s campus. As Tooker emphasized, “we want to show people that there is tremendous beauty in research; it isn’t just lab coats and dusty old papers.” For example, images taken with high-resolution microscopes have captured the imaginations of researchers and artists alike for decades. The Art of Research aspires to reveal the same inherent artistry of nature across a multitude of disciplines.
A gallery opening event is planned for early 2018 where the winning works will be revealed. If you would like to follow the project and view the students’ submissions, follow their Instagram and Twitter accounts, both using the handle @NEUResearchArt.
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