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Published January 17, 2011


Art Students Exhibit their Work in the Institute for Molecular BioPhysics at FSU

Have you ever wondered what role creativity plays in scientific research? Or conversely, what role regimented experimentation plays in creativity? Dr. Tim Logan (Chemistry) and Anne Stagg (Art) are working with students to address these types of questions and to reveal overlaps in two seemingly disparate fields of study. The idea is to look at our similarities in our research practices and learn from each other. Typically, we learn techniques and facts related to our respective practice, we look at the research of those that have come before us as well as our contemporaries, and then we try to make something novel, something unique, something interesting. How do we get there? What is the process like? What leads us to investigate a particular subject? What brings about that initial impulse to step beyond that which we know or have seen and do something different?

As an early step in this conversation, students from the Department of Art at Florida State University have created artworks to exhibit in the Institute for Molecular Biophysics’ Kasha Laboratory Building.  The students have also tried to elucidate their creative practice and answer some of these questions in artist talks presented on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Artist statements can be found hanging next to their work.

Prior to this collaboration, if you asked any science student about the role of experimentation and traditional knowledge in creating art, they would likely say “None“, or “I have no idea“. Similarly, if you ask an art student how creative scientists need to be, they might answer “Not at all” or “I have no idea“.

As humans, we have a fundamental need to categorize, understand, and comment on our world. Artists do this by creating original works of art; scientists do this through creating original research.  Now, through this Art-MOB interaction, we are seeing that artists and scientists actually follow similar approaches to addressing this most basic of human needs. And seeing the parallels between the role of ‘creativity’ in these seemingly diametrically opposed areas of research teaches us more about our own field. It teaches us how to be better scientists and artists.

–       Tim Logan, Director, Institute for Molecular Biophysics


The exhibition will continue through April 2011.


Anne Stagg, Department of Art,