Indiana State University Newsroom

Exhibit at University Art Gallery explores relationship between art and science

October 8, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. --- The University Art Gallery will host "Re(Search): Exploring the Relationship Between Art & Science" from Oct. 12-Nov. 13.

The exhibition is made up of five artists from different media, motivation and background. These artists approach the act of making not just with science as muse or impetus but as researchers in their own right. This grouping will illustrate the range of creative inquiry born from the presence of science and technology saturating our daily circumstance while exploiting it as a common language.

"Re(Search)" will feature works by artists Steve Aishman, Ronald Leax, Brian Nelson, Sara Mast and Kathryn Refi.

Aishman is represented by Soloman Projects, an Atlanta-based gallery. He has a lengthy exhibition history spanning the globe. He is currently chair of the photography department at the Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta campus. Featured in this exhibition is his work Super Flowers, a photographic series that explores his manipulation of the cycle of life by grafting flowers together with contrasting species.

Leax, represented by the Phillip Stein Gallery in St. Louis, has taught at Washington University since 1986 and is a pioneer in the use of art to explore ecological issues. A prolific sculptor, many of his works evolve, grow, corrode, decay and mature with time. He currently serves as dean of the College & Graduate School of Art at Washington University.

Nelson has been active in the Detroit area as an inspired artist and teacher for many years and is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Eastern Michigan University. His work is founded on the dichotomy he has discovered between the basic but complex processes of life. He references a struggle between science and nature or sterility and life by using materials such as stainless steel tables, cast lead, test tubes, oxygen tanks, DNA, petri dishes of live organisms and images of trees swaying in the wind or clouds passing. He is known for his unique ability to combine refined craftsmanship and complex emotional and conceptual ideas into solid and fluid sculpture.

Mast has exhibited extensively throughout the United States in addition to receiving many coveted grants, awards and residencies. Her highly textured paintings conjure up direct correlations with geography, space, location, constellations and mapping. She is an assistant professor of drawing, painting and foundations at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Refi, also represented by Soloman Projects, lives and works in Athens, Ga., while exhibiting her unique style of painting and drawing around the country. Her work, Color Recordings, measures the artist's exposure to light through video and software developed for the project. The paintings illustrate the common daily progression from dark to light and back again, illustrating human sleep/wake patterns.

A public reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 - 7 p.m. in the University Art Gallery. Refi will discuss the relationship between art and science during a lecture that evening at 5:30 p.m. in the events area of the library.

The University Art Gallery thanks Arts Illiana, the College of Arts & Sciences and the department of art for their continued support. The gallery, located in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, is open to the public Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. -4 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Re(Search) is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For additional information call 812-237-3720 or visit  .


Contact: Erin Caldwell, Interim Director-University Art Gallery, 812-237-3787 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812-237-3783 or