Thank you for attending ArtLab F18!



ArtLab was a fantastic success with the numerous ArtLab participants and guests that both submitted their artwork and attended the exhibition on March 1-2. This success would not be possible without the support of the Curb Center and the Wond’ry. The ArtLab exhibition was sold out with over 50 people registered for the event. The works that were displayed ranged from paintings exploring biostatistics in behavior, to images of fruit fly larva, to graphics design, interactive art pieces, and much more. Participants were even able to paint in 3D with the help of the Wond’ry Virtual Reality equipment. Overall, this experience brought together artists, scientists, educators, and supporters from across the Vanderbilt and Nashville community to initiate a dialogue about the place of art in science and science in art. In order to continue this dialogue, ArtLab will be hosting an online discussion board on the topic of art and science collaborations and discussions within the Vanderbilt and Nashville community. To access this discussion board please go to:


For a digital catalog of this years featured works, please visit the following link:

ArtLab F17-S18 Catalog


Exhibition overview:

The two-day event was a fantastic opportunity for artists and scientists to meet and discuss the intersection of art and science with speakers that excel within this juncture. The events started off with a collective discussion lead by guest speaker Daniel Kohn. In total this collective discussion we explored on the role of perspective in representation. Daniel emphasized that in order to understand the truth of a subject, one must equally value all perspectives. For a scientist, this concept may seem unnecessary as the goal of science is to uncover a universal empirical truth. We then began to discuss the role of art within a science context. Is art used to represent what we already know (illustration)? Or is art a representation of what we do not yet know? Although answers to these questions were not decided, it is clear that art impacts all aspects of our culture including the communication of science and the deeper contemplation of complex biological systems.

On day 2 we heard from Vanderbilt speakers. First Vesna Pavlovic, M.F.A., Associate Professor of Art, discussed the role of images and in particular physical slides photos in a cultural memories and historical importance. By cataloging slides, Vesna brings to life the history and value associated particular memories for her subjects. The importance of photos in cultural memory and history rings true across her subjects, from American to Ukrainian history. Yet, how this translates into the digital era is something that Vesna is interested in exploring through her courses within the Art Department. She looks forward to the release of her new book, Lost Art, with a launch party at Parnassus Books on March 31st.

Next, we heard from Dr. David Sweatt who spoke about the neurobiology of creativity. He broke down creativity into two main categories, first the unique, innovative approaches to problem-solving and second an emphasis on productivity and perseverance.  Dr. Sweatt argues that the creation of novel thought is based on the connection of new ideas through associative learning and problem-solving approaches, cognitive domains that rely heavily on hippocampal and neocortical circuitry. Productivity, in contrast, is related to the function of the dopaminergic reward system. These two complementary pathways together steer creativity within people, however the mechanisms by which individual creative experiences are generated remain elusive. Finally, Dr. Miriam Lense spoke about the association of music with language and communication. Most importantly, music is a social experience. Learning the language of music is much like learning a language. Her work is driving forward new approaches to engage and socialize individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other social disorders.

We look forward to continuing to expand ArtLab next year. If you, or someone you know, would like to be added to the email list for upcoming events we ask that you provide your information and complete the following survey:


1 Comment

Leave a Reply