UF students have proved that science can be beautiful and art can be scholarly.
The ninth-annual Creativity in the Arts and Sciences Event (CASE), held on Jan. 31, demonstrated how art and science go hand in hand. Through the exhibition, the UF College of the Arts and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Program aimed to bring together art and science majors.
More than 100 undergraduate students showcased projects to compete for a $10,000 prize. Painting junior Rachel Lewis, 20, and engineering junior Camille Leonard, 20, collaborated on a sculpture illustrating the use of nano particles to detect lung cancer.
“We put this piece together to represent her research in a visual way,” Lewis said.
CASE started modestly but has been growing in scale, co-director David Julian said.
“It started out as just science posters, and then we added a little bit of art,” Julian said. “Now I think our goal is to make all of it collaborative.”
He said he hopes the science students will learn how to communicate their findings through media rather than speech or text and the art students will learn to find new applications and different audiences for their art.
It can be difficult to communicate scientific theories, Julian said, so pairing researchers with artists stimulates visual representations of complex ideas.
The event was created because UF does not offer art and science together in a formal setting, Julian said, and past participants have said the event was one of the most important parts of their education at the university.
Ben Dunn, director of the program, said he hopes UF will start requiring science majors who get research funding to collaborate with artists to present their work.
“It creates a better understanding of the other discipline,” said Dunn, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. “That is a growing trend in the United States. The more you can do to bring the world of art and science together, the better product you’re going to have.”