March 26, 2017

Scientific Illustration Exhibit

This exhibit was curated by Angela Mele, Sophia Horigan ’16, Cora Layman ’19, & Kellsy Nava-Lopez ’19 and populates wooden cases in the library atrium. 

This exhibit populates wooden cases in the library atrium.

For the first time, Lewis & Clark College offered a scientific illustration workshop taught by visiting science illustrator Angela Mele. From April 7th-9th, students from many scientific and artistic disciplines came together to create dozens of illustrations. Even a few students from other colleges and a few professors came to draw the living and preserved natural wonders of our campus!

At the heart of this workshop was the Lewis & Clark College Natural History Collection. Few people know that our campus holds a collection of hundreds of specimens of flora and fauna, including birds, mammals, fungi, arachnids, and plants. These specimens date back to the early 1900s–the results of class projects, alumni donations, and professors’ PhD theses. Currently they reside in the deep recesses of BoDine. The stuffed bird and mammal skins are lined in drawers, identification tags hanging from weathered strings tied to legs. Plants are pressed onto yellowing paper stacked between pages from old Pioneer Logs. Rows of pinned insects are tucked in mothball-scented boxes. Soft-bodied creatures like spiders float in ethanol-filled vials with tiny handwritten labels. The Natural History Club hopes to one day unite these specimens in a museum for the enjoyment of the LC community and beyond.

‘Scientific Illustration’ refers to any drawing or painting used to communicate something about the natural world– from ink drawings of magnified moth genitalia distinguishing one species from another, to watercolors of life during the Jurassic. As this workshop proved, the practice is alive and well: what better way to teach and share science and rare specimens than through amazing pictures?

This exhibit was curated by Angela Mele, Sophia Horigan ’16, Cora Layman ’19, & Kellsy Nava-Lopez ’19.

We thank SAAB, the Biology Department & the Watzek Library for supporting this event.