The art of biology

To learn about biodiversity, students use creativity to capture life in detail
April 19, 2017
Students looking at art exhibit in introduction to biology course
Students view the variety of living organisms on display in artwork for an Introduction to Biology laboratory class.

Not everyone learns by reading text or even experimenting. In fact, an oft-quoted statistic notes that a majority of us — 65 percent — are visual learners.

Pieces of artwork hanging on the wall
Detail of students' depictions of cellular life. For
more photos, visit Clark's Flickr account online.

To learn about the diversity of life, students in a Clark University Introduction to Biology laboratory course created artwork — photographs, drawings, paintings and sculptures using a variety of media — of various organisms.

“The goal of the art project was to have our students closely observe the organisms and to pause to notice the incredible variety in forms, colors, textures and details of the living biota,” said Elizabeth Bone, lab coordinator.

Bone asked each student to create artwork depicting two organisms. The students then toured the resulting art exhibit during a lab quiz and answered questions on biodiversity concepts. The exhibit was displayed in Room 151 of the Lasry Center for Biosciences.

Sofia Noguer and other students look at artwork
Sofia Noguer, second from left,
views the exhibit with classmates. 

“I really appreciate getting to see that biology can be an artistic and creative experience,” said psychology major and biology minor Sofia Noguer ’19, as she and her classmates gathered around the art during an April 7 lab session.

Intro to Biology (BIO 102) is a semester-long course with 120 students, mostly first-year students and sophomores planning to major in one of the sciences. The lecture portion of the course is taught by biology Professors David Hibbett and Deborah Robertson.  

All photos by Fileona Dkhar '17.