Produce on Display: Radishes
Engagement with visual representation has been crucial aspect of my professional career. My advanced degrees are in the field of engineering and I have used visual arts throughout my mechanics and materials research, my college-level teaching, and my work to engage public audiences with scientific topics. I believe the arts are the creative heart of design and innovation. In my research, my training as an artist has been essential to understanding and interpreting the images obtained from a variety of microscopy instrumentation. In my teaching, I use visual representations of engineering elements and concepts. They are integrated throughout the courses that I teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels to provide learners with additional ways of interacting with complex concepts. I have also explored ways in which art can be employed as an entry point for those who might not be as intrinsically interested in science. This has included numerous collaborations with professional artists and science museum exhibit designers, as well as publications and presentations at the national and international levels.

In my personal work in the visual arts, I have focused for the last decade on pastel painting. I find natural objects very engaging. There is so much to see when the sun shines on a piece of fruit or washes across a field. For me, the shadows are as important as the light, by providing both contrast and the mystery of what is hidden. Soft pastels, in combination with various papers such as sanded and textured supports, have allowed me to explore these everyday objects and portray their energy and vitality. The experience of attaining flow while immersed in artistic expression is hard to surpass. It connects to a focus that allows a thorough engagement with the creative process.
McFarland, WI
WVA membership status:

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