Artist: Rebecca Arp
Laboratory: Amanda Doran
Rebecca Arp is a Studio Art major at Vanderbilt University. She has previous experience in art and design, but not in the field of science. She is interested in many different art disciplines, including sculpture, installation, performance,
and social practice. Her approach when doing collaborative work is primarily to meet the needs of her clients, and Amanda Doran approached her needing a new logo and help with her lab website. Arp has past experience in branding and website design, and so it seemed like the perfect creative opportunity. She used those skills, combined with her artistic eye, to develop a new logo for Doran Lab. She was inspired by Doran’s amazing microscopic images, and incorporated a microscope into the “D” of the logo to broadly illustrate what occurs at her lab.
Additionally, Arp gave herself a challenge to learn animation, with an idea to incorporate that into the website design. Throughout the residency,
she completed animation tutorials and learned the basics of animation on Adobe After Effects. Although her original idea to animate a scientific process was too time-consuming to finish within the short residency, Arp ended the summer with a new skill under her belt. Even without a “finished product” to show for it, she sees that as a success.
As a result of this residency Rebecca Arp also learned about Doran’s research, which deals with efferocytosis, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. She learned that efferocytosis is a process of removing dead or dying cells from the body, which involves macrophages and T-cells. Put simply, the macrophages clear the dying cells from tissue, which is an important job because dead cells left in the body can cause a range of issues. In her research, Doran looks at how T-cells secrete a substance that can “turn on” the macrophage, giving it a better “appetite” for the dead cells and therefore aid the process of cleaning the tissue.
Overall, the ArtLab Artist-in-Residency has
been helped an her to amazing better her learning
experience and Arp’s first residency. It
time management skills and collaborate with others, and learn about scientific processes she never would have learned otherwise. Arp’s research about design principles and standards for scientific labs pave the way for her to work with other labs in the future, possibly designing their logos and websites. She has also formed a partnership with Doran Lab that she hopes continues in the future, giving her more and more creative opportunities.