WCSU art and biology students present ‘Art of Biology’ exhibit

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences will host a reception for the exhibition, “The Art of Biology,” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in the Atrium of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will feature student photography, pen and ink and watercolor work, as well as mounted taxidermy specimens of birds, mammals and reptiles provided by the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Assistant Professor of Art Jack Tom, an illustration instructor at WCSU, said the idea for the event all began with the desire to fill an empty display case in the lobby of the Science Building with biological illustration and art to help promote a scientific illustration class to biology students.

Through the collaboration between members of the Biology and Art departments, the single display case in the lobby of the Science Building eventually evolved into a full-blown art exhibit, celebrating the marriage of art and science, and the practice of interdepartmental studies.

“Art and science have a symbiotic relationship,” Tom said. “They’re almost like siblings who’ve been separated at birth.”

Tom also noted that scientific illustration is unique in that artists are drawing for accuracy rather than emotional expression.

“Our students really do create field-guide quality work,” Tom said.

Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. C. Thomas Philbrick said the exhibit is a prime example of the success of interdisciplinary collaboration.

“It is interesting that art is in its own department in one school and science is in a different department in a different school,” Philbrick said, “yet art is crucial in biology because having the ability to visualize biology is important.”

“It’s well known that when a student draws something, they examine it more closely,” Philbrick said. “Art and biology overlap.”

For more information, send an email to tomj@wcsu.edu or philbrickt@wcsu.edu.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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