Bridging the Gap Between Art and Science
In early February, amid a packed house of rapt listeners and surrounded by GMGI’s state-of-the-art genomics labs, two local, distinguished artists explored the nexus of art and science through the lens of their respective careers and artistic product.
The two artists — Kimberly Collins Jermain, a Landscape painter and architectural color designer and Daniel Jay, PhD, Dean of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University – explained how science influences and inspires their individual artistic process and approach. Both are former Resident Artists at Cape Ann’s MANSHIP Artists Residency + Studios, the evening’s co-host and an organization devoted to bringing new life to renowned sculptor Paul Manship’s Lanesville compound.
A trained artist with a background in oceanography and a lifelong passion for the water, Kimberly has traveled the globe exploring the marine world through paint. Like GMGI’s scientists, her work goes beneath the water’s surface and “documents the human experience of a changing ocean ecosystem.” Employing a unique approach and toolset, Kimberly gets as close as she can to her subjects and works on her painting while diving underwater, using special oil paints on durable paper. The results are a beautiful representation of the often-unseen underwater world’s texture, form and color. While she has traveled to places as far away as the Azores and France for her underwater painting, the local beauty is not lost on Kim — she has a collection dedicated to exploring the inter-tidal zones of Cape Ann’s Coffin’s Beach, Lambert’s Cove, and West Beach.
Dan Jay’s approach is more scientific– as the Dean of Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a professor of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology at Tufts University, he uses his deep science background to inform his art. In some pieces, Dan uses groups of elements from the periodic table, combining them with liquid nitrogen to create stunning abstract pieces on paper. For example, Co-Cu-Ca-C (Cobalt, Copper, Calcium and Carbon) combined to produce a beautifully chaotic combination of black and blue figures. His dual passion for art and science extends beyond his personal work, as he has assumed the responsibility to encourage young people to pursue both art and science in their education. Working together with young visitors at the Peabody Essex Museum, Dan created a large-scale piece celebrating the 150th anniversary of the periodic table using a combination of elements that begin with “S” – Si-S-Sb-Sn (Silicon, Sulfur, Antimony and Tin) – to evoke the feelings of the Sea.
When it was time for the Q&A, it was clear that Kim and Dan had opened the minds of many guests to the beauty that can be found in the interplay between art and science. GMGI is happy to have helped facilitate this shared experience, and grateful to both artists for generously contributing their time and talent. If you would like to learn more about their work, please visit www.kimberlycollinsjermain.com and www.danjayart.com.
GMGI would like to thank both artists and MANSHIP Artists in Residence for co-hosting this special event.
Special thank you to Kathy Tarantola for these images