On Oct. 23, the Beard and Weil Galleries, in the Watson Fine Arts Center, opened their exhibition to the Wheaton community. Until Dec. 12, everyone has the chance to witness the beautiful fusion of science and artistry expressed in the showcasing of “In the Weeds: Art in the Natural World.” Although there have been small photographs floating around campus of Rachel Frank’s piece “Thresholds”, visualizing and interacting with the art in person, is unsurpassed.
The new installations address human interaction with the environment. All six artists employ scientific undertones to convey the impact of society’s actions on wildlife. Specifically, many of the artists analyze the controversies surrounding rewilding, or the large-scale conservation of natural processes in wilderness areas. According to Shiyu Li ’23, the exhibition “makes people think more about nature and what [society] can do to protect [the natural world].” Many pieces are interactive such as Jenny Kendler’s “Bewilder”, which encourages visitors to apply temporary tattoos, wrap themselves in fabric, and become camouflaged in butterfly and moth eyespots. In addition, The Next Epoch Seed Library (a collaboration between Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco), provides a sofa to relax on, multiple books to peruse and cases of seeds and weedy plant species to examine.
Regardless of the expressive mode each artist yields, the marriage of science and art in these works appeals to a vast campus audience. Students interested in the Humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors have the opportunity to “get in touch with different subjects and learn something new” noted Shuchang Gu ’23. In the upcoming months, take a moment to relieve academic stress and discover the profound synthesis of environmental science and art.