“Science2Art,” Linda Hall Library

“Arterial Powerhouses: Targeted for Destruction,” Safa, University of Missouri, 18×18

Science aims to explore and understand how the natural world works. Art can serve as a medium for that scientific expression to enlighten and engage audiences. The “Science2Art” exhibit at Linda Hall Library shares the purpose-driven work of scientists as artists through more than a dozen works, available for purchase through Oct. 19 (until 6 p.m.) in an online auction. 

BioNexus KC started Science2Art in 2014. The annual exhibition supports regional STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) advancements. The science-meets-art event enables scientists to describe their research through visual expression that channels complex scientific concepts into a more accessible format.

“‘Science2Art’ stimulates scientific thinking, promotes collaboration, documents scientific discoveries, and encourages innovation across our region, all while supporting area life sciences organizations,” said BioNexus KC President and CEO Dennis Ridenour.  

Krista Alba, assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art,  collaborated with BioNexus KC Director of Events and Marketing Shaylee Yount to select finalists for Science2Art

“When reviewing submissions for the exhibition, I considered several elements of the scientist’s application,” said Alba. “Each artist submitted a description of their area of research and the inspiration behind their work. I reviewed their descriptions and recommended finalists with diverse specializations and those made compelling visual choices.” 

Each scientist was required to submit an image of their work along with a description. Alba said, “This helped orient me in their thinking and provided information that I might miss from looking at the image alone.” 

After curatorial review, BioNexus KC reviewed Alba’s list of recommendations and approved final selections. 

Safa from the University of Missouri submitted an intriguing 18×18-inch image titled “Arterial Powerhouses: Targeted For Destruction.” The work depicts damage and death – themes that resonate on a universal level – within a cerebral artery on a cellular level. Eye-catching mitochondria in magenta slash and sweep next to nuclei in blue.  

“When mitochondria are injured by oxidative stress, they sense the damage and initiate cell death. When exposed to hydrogen peroxide, these studies examine how females protect cerebral arteries from mitochondrial disruption and cell death,” states Safa’s description.  

“Fluorescent Chromosomes,” Michay Diez, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 16×20

Michay Diez of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research submitted “Fluorescent Chromosomes,” a work in gold with black and white accents against a scarlet field. Bold and vibrant as graffiti, the fluorescent image enables study of DNA chromosomes that may uncover their role in disease. 

A QR code accompanies each piece on display, linking to an in-depth description of the art, the artist’s biography, and the option to place a bid. 

The works are available for purchase via an online charity auction that raises funds for Kansas City-area nonprofits. BioNexus KC and the Science2Art program have collectively donated more than $140,000 for various STEAM programs across the region. Proceeds from this year’s sale of Science2Art pieces will benefit the Linda Hall Library, PREP-KC, Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and aSTEAM Village. 

“KC Science2Art” continues at the Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry St., through Oct. 6. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, www.lindahall.org. 

To access the online auction through Oct. 19, visit bionexuskc.org/events-calendar/s2a/.

Pete Dulin

Pete Dulin is the author of “Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Across the Heart of Kansas and Missouri,” “Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland,” and two other books. His reporting has appeared in “AFAR Magazine,” “Feast,” “Kansas City Magazine,” KCUR, Zócalo Public Square, “The Kansas City Star,” “The Boston Globe,” and other publications.

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