Posts Tagged: Anna Davidson
It's a program that, as the name indicates, fuses art and science. Science with art.
On that note, two noteworthy events sponsored by the program will take place next week.
But first, what's the program all about?
It's the brainchild of UC Davis entomologist/artist Diane Ullman and her close friend and colleague Donna Billick, a self-described "rock artist." Their visions and talents are absolutely amazing and have drawn national and international attention.
Ullman and Billick began teaching classes in the UC Davis Department of Entomology (now Entomology and Nematology) in the mid-1990s that led to the formation of the Art/Science Fusion Program. They founded the program and now serve as co-directors. Today it includes design faculty, science faculty, museum educators, professional artists and UC Davis students.
“Participants see and feel art and science, hold it in their hands, hearts and memories—in ceramics, painting, photographs, music, and textiles,” said Ullman, professor of entomology, former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, and former associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Basically, it's an innovative teaching program that "crosses college boundaries and uses experiental learning to enhance scientific literary for students from all disciplines." The program promotes environmental literacy with three undergraduate courses, a robust community outreach program, and sponsorship of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASERs).
One of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program's most visible and “wow!” projects is the 2,500 pound mosaic art, Nature's Gallery in the Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum. It showcases the interaction--and the beauty--of insects and plants. It was initially displayed at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. and at the California State Fair.
Another project that draws much attention and acclaim is the Ent 1 art in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee garden on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
Billick created “Miss Bee Haven,” a six-foot-long honey bee sculpture that anchors the garden. "I like to play with words,” said Billick. She also created the colorful Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility's mosaic ceramic sign that features DNA symbols and almond blossoms. A hole drilled in the sign is ready for a bee hive.
Also in Davis, Billick created the whimsical Dancing Pigs sculpture and the Cow Fountain, both in the Marketplace Shopping Center on Russell Boulevard; the Mediation sculpture at Central Park Gardens; and the Frawns for Life near the West Area Pond.
Billick traces her interest in an art career to the mid-1970s when then Gov. Jerry Brown supported the arts and offered the necessary resources to encourage the growth of art. He reorganized the California Arts Council, boosting its funding by 1300 percent.
She maintains a compound in Baja, where she teaches three workshops a year called "Heaven on Earth." She has won numerous awards for her work.
For outstanding teaching, Diane Ullman was recently selected the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Award in Teaching from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America. She is now one of six candidates for the ESA Distinguished Teaching Award. ESA will select the recipient from one of six branches—Pacific, Eastern, North Central, Southeastern, Southwestern and International—and present the award at its Nov. 16-19 meeting in Portland, Ore.
The other noteworthy event involving the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program occurs on Monday, June 2. It's the popular LASER-UC Davis event and will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Room 3001 of the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building. (LASER is an acronym for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous.) One of the program's teachers, Anna Davidson, a Ph.D candidate in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, is coordinating and moderating the event. Come by at 6:30 for socializing and networking. The program starts at 7.
Davidson has gathered an exciting program of four speakers, with a discussion and more networking to follow from 9 to 9:30:
- Gene Felice, graduate student, at the University of California Santa Cruz, will speak on "Justice in a More Human World" from 7 to 7:25.
- Michael Neff, associate professor in Computer Science and Cinema and Technocultural Studies at UC Davis, will speak on "The Gap Between Computational and Artistic Models of Movement"
- Danielle Svehla Christianson of the Berkeley Center for New Media, will discuss "The Gap Between: Computational and Artistic Models of Movement, “A Digital Forest: 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110100” from 8:10 to 8:35 p.m.
- Joe Dumit, director of Science and Technology Studies and professor of anthropology at UC Davis, will speak on "Haptic Creativity: Seeing, Scaling and Storymaking with the KeckCAVES" from 8:35 to 9 p.m.
UC Davis Art/Science Fusion co-founder and co-director Donna Billick with her mosaic ceramic sculpture, Miss Bee Haven, in the half-acre Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Self-described rock artist Donna Billick addresses the crowd at the opening of Nature's Gallery, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This beetle belongs to a large and varied order: their eltrya—the hardened outer wings that form the beetles’ iconic carapices—are jeweled purple and gold, colors that shift with motion. “A Study of Stillness in Motion,” the piece would be called. This particular beetle is green, so green your eyes slide off of it, like you’re looking at the greenest of greeniness, the very Form of green, and it is not for you to comprehend.--Whitney Krupp
So begins an insect tale, illustrated with her art, at the Organism show sponsored by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. It started out as a one-day show on Dec. 11, but by popular demand, evolved into a three-day show.
The last day to see it is Saturday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. The site: Old Nelson Art Gallery in the UC Davis Art Building (across from Shields Library).
Whitney Krupp, a second-year ecological management and restoration major from San Rafael, tells the story of a beetle, a fire, and a pictographs in her piece, "A Study of Stillness in Motion." You'll have to stop by to read what happens in this thought-provoking and creative piece.
Krupp is one of 15 entomology students showcasing insect tales and art. Another memorable one is by Nhu Mai who writes about "The Demise of the Hornet Who Thought He Could."
"New Japanese Giant hornet larvae have been born and the supply of food for the colony of hornets is now running extremely low on this cold autumn night in the mountains of Japan," Mai begins.
The hornet colony grows increasingly hungry and desperately needs food. So a hornet scout sets out to steal food from a honey bee hive. Spoiler alert: hornets kill honey bees and raid the colony of honey, immature brood, and adult bees.
This particular hornet, however, encounters a strategic maneuver. The bees swarm it, vibrate heat, and smother it.
Honey bees, Mai explains, can withstand 118-degree temperature, while a hornet "can only survive up to 115 degrees...Within seconds, the hornet is lifeless."
The 15 students wrote "curious tales about insects" and illustrated those stories "through their art pieces,” said show curator Anna Davidson, a Ph.D. student who's a teaching assistant with the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. “The concept behind their art pieces is based on Cabinets of Curiosities, a pre-Linnaeus collection of curiosities made popular among the affluent in 14th and 15th century Europe.”
“During this show you will experience glow in-the-dark organisms, art made of fungus, large-scale installation, live performance, and sound art and tales about insects that are so curious they are almost unbelievable!” said Davidson, whose own work includes "art made of fungus."
The Organism show is not just about bees and beetles. You'll see assorted other insects, including monarch butterflies and praying mantids, brought to life through art and text.
While you're on the UC Davis campus (Saturday, Dec. 15), be sure to attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house, themed "Insects in Art," from 1 to 4 p.m. in 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane.
You'll get an opportunity to make a bug button--and maybe win a prize.
Whitney Krupp with her beetle art work. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A close-up of Whitney Krupp's art work: beetles boring into pictographs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This art work by Nhu Mai shows a doomed hornet in a honey bee hive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Art made of fungus?
Tales about insects?
That will all take place at “Organism,” an art show fusing art, science and technology, including insect art by young entomologists on the University of California, Davis campus
The date: Tuesday night, Dec. 11.
The time: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The place: the Old Nelson Gallery in the UC Davis Art Building.
The event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program.
"Organism" also will include visual, sound, live performance, and a look at a Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (see example on Wikipedia).
“This is a two-part show,” said curator Anna Davidson, a doctoral candidate who teaches for the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, which was launched in 2006 by entomologist Diane Ullman and self-described “rock artist” Donna Billick.
Part One will spotlight artworks created by both artists and scientists on the UC Davis campus. Participating scientists will include Ciera Martinez, Anna Davidson, Brad Townsly, Dan Chitwood and Diane Ullman. Among the artists: Daniel Brickman, May Wilson, Evan Clayburg, Daniel Mendoza, Sarah Julig, Dylan Wright, Donna Billick and Emily Schleiner.
Part One also includes performance art by Allison Fall and a dance performance by Linda Bair Dance Company.
Part Two of the show will feature 15 students from the Entomology 1 class, which is housed in the Art Science Fusion program. “These 15 students have been writing curious tales about insects and illustrating those stories through their art pieces,” Davidson said. “The concept behind their art pieces is based on Cabinets of Curiosities, a pre-Linnaeus collection of curiosities made popular among the affluent in 14th and 15th century Europe.”
“During this show you will experience glow in-the-dark organisms, art made of fungus, large-scale installation, live performance, and sound, art and tales about insects that are so curious they are almost unbelievable!” she said.
The 15 students include Christina Ball, Edna Chen, Alejandra Gonzalez, Whitney Krupp, Danielle Laub, Nina Liu, Huong Nhu Mai, Amy McElroy, Brenda Nguyen, Lawrence Nguyen, Meredith Scarborough, Alison Stewart, Kevin Tran and Hsin Hwei Tsou.
For more information, contact Anna Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a Ph.D student in the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group, Department of Plant Sciences.
Entomology student Whitney Krupp at work on her display for the show, "Organism." (Photo courtesy of Anna Davidson)
Close-up shot of Whitney Krupp's art-to-be for the Organism show. (Photo courtesy of Anna Davidson)
And they're not letting the secret out until Saturday, Dec. 3.
What it is: the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program will sponsor a "Cabinets of Curiosity" scientific art show on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Davis.
Billed as "found object and sculpture featuring 17 student artists," the event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. at 721 7th St., Davis (corner of 7th and G streets). A performance art by Evan Clayburg is set for 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
"But what's in those drawers?" we asked entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. She is a longtime professor of entomology at UC Davis and associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Ullman did not disclose the secrets, but she said folks attending the event "will find out what happens when artists mix this concept with the strange world of insects using found object and sculpture."
A little background: She and Donna Billick of Davis co-founded and co-direct the Art/Science Fusion Program, which meshes art with science in undergraduate education and community outreach. Some of their work is showcased in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
The Dec. 3rd show "is based on the fusion of art and science, particularly insects and art and is based on the theme of Cabinets of Curiosity," said Art/Science Fusion Program teaching assistant Anna Davidson, who is a third-year PhD student in the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group, housed in the Department of Plant Sciences.
"Cabinets of Curiosity were pre-museum, pre-Linnaeus collections of curiosities from around the world featured for the affluent in the 15th and 16th centuries," Davidson said. "Curious items were either displayed in cabinets or entire rooms. We have created a cabinet of curiosity consisting of 20 drawers. Each drawer is a shallow, glass covered box that tells a story about insects using found object and sculpture. Each piece is very unique."
"There will also be a local--but becoming more famous--performance artist named Evan Clayburg performing at 8 p.m. His piece will be a surprise. We will also have two Djs."
And the site? "The gallery is an empty house that we will transform into an art space to facilitate this one-night underground art show," Davidson said.
Davidson did provide a couple of "bug" images (below)--but the rest you'll have to see on Dec. 3.
And learn more about them...
This little critter will be displayed at the Cabinets of Curiosity show on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Davis. (Photo courtesy of Anna Davidson)
What is it? A student meshed art with science. (Photo courtesy of Anna Davidson)