Bright, bridge-like arches vaulted my eye up and into this delightful photo, simply titled Spaces, No. 2. Jim Wong, the spouse of a postdoctoral scholar at the medical school, captured this image on camera, and in doing so, created one of twelve works of art recently on display at the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building.
The event, called Art Exhibit Extravaganza 2013, was the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association's first art show for postdoctoral scholars and was designed to be a creative outlet for them. But, perhaps more important, the event used art as a common interest to spark communication - and perhaps scientific collaboration - between postdoctoral scholars in different disciplines who might not otherwise interact with one another.
Co-organizer and art committee chairperson Ermelinda Porpiglia, PhD, explains in this Inside Stanford Medicine story:
"Art invites exploration of the world in unbiased ways and allows us to consider different perspectives," she said. "Science is very methodical but, although in a different way than art, is also a very creative process. The power of bridging the arts and the sciences is currently underestimated. Collaborations between artists and scientists could in fact lead to innovation and in the long run foster scientific progress. With this exhibition, we would like to prompt our community to think about it."
Co-organizer and elected co-chair of the association Antoine de Morree, PhD, sees performance art in the association's future. "We would love to do an exhibition like this again, but we'd also like to introduce different kinds of art. Many postdocs are involved in dance and theater."
Holly MacCormick is a writing intern in the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs. She is a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California-Santa Cruz.
Artwork by Jim Wong