March 29, 2016
Society: Art, Science Team Up At Taubman Institute
The Detroit News, 03/28/2016
Chuck Bennett


Society: Art, Science Team Up At Taubman Institute
The Detroit News, 03/28/2016
Chuck Bennett

There’s something commandingly intriguing about mixing art and science. And the folks at the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan are determined to explore the allure. Celebrating its third annual Art+Science project, the institute hosted a talk featuring a pair of the eminent artists and physician-researchers collaborating on the innovative fundraiser.

The Art+Science project connects the institute’s Taubman Scholars — members of the U-M Medical School faculty — with leading contemporary artists, to explore the commonalities in their arenas of creativity and discovery. The artists then go on to produce works of art inspired by the lifesaving medical research of their Taubman Scholar partner, and the works are auctioned to fund more medical research grants through the institute.

Wednesday’s lecture featuring Eva Feldman, a medical doctor and Ph.D., and Cranbrook Artist-in-Residence Beverly Fishman was the first preview lecture. Nearly 100 people attended the free informal talk and reception held at the Cranbrook Art Museum, where Feldman and Fishman discussed what inspired them to pursue their respective fields in art and science, and what they learned about each other’s methods.

“I’ve long had medical themes in my work, particularly in pharmaceutical imagery,” said Fishman. “I’ve found a great deal of beauty in the microscopic cell images from Feldman’s research into new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Fishman based the artwork she is creating for the Taubman Institute fundraiser on a microscopic image of neurons from Feldman’s lab. Feldman noted that art and science have many commonalities and she explained how artworks sometimes are shown to research subjects to help researchers better understand what stimulates brain activity.

The duo discussed their work and the insights they have gained through meetings at the laboratory and studio. Andrew Blauvelt, director of the Cranbrook Art Museum, moderated the discussion. The informal talk segued into a reception and “sneak peek” of items that will be up for bidding at the gala Evening of Art+Science, which will take place April 21 at MOCAD in Detroit.

A similar lecture will be held March 31 in Ann Arbor at the U-M Museum of Art, featuring the artist/scientist pair of Allie McGhee and Dr. Valerie Opipari, head of pediatrics at the U-M health system.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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