Lexie Bower and Shirin Doroudgar discussing their Artist + Researcher Exhibition work

Phoenix Bioscience Core debuts Artist + Researcher Exhibition as part of new PBC Arts Committee

Lexie Bower and Shirin Doroudgar discussing their Artist + Researcher Exhibition work

Phoenix Bioscience Core debuts Artist + Researcher Exhibition as part of new PBC Arts Committee

The Phoenix Bioscience Core will launch the Artist + Researcher Exhibition aimed at displaying the life science research happening on the PBC in new and dynamic ways.

The Artist + Researcher Exhibition is the first project from the newly formed PBC Arts Committee led by Dr. Cynthia Standley from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The exhibition features nine art pieces created by local Phoenix-area artists. Each artist was paired with researchers from the three public research universities on the PBC: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. These translational pieces help demonstrate the groundbreaking life science research taking place on the PBC every day and share it with a wider audience.

“This is something new for everyone,” Dr. Standley told the University of Arizona Health Sciences. “The researchers will see their work displayed in a unique way and the artist may learn something they didn’t previously know and potentially create something in a way they haven’t tried before.”

Check out this video from the University of Arizona Health Sciences to learn more.

Quick connections

In November of 2021, artists from the greater Phoenix area and researchers from each of the three universities met at Bentley Gallery for a speed-dating style networking event aimed at creating the A+R teams. Each artist and researcher ranked their most compatible counterparts, and relationships were formed.

From there, the teams would meet via Zoom, in the labs or in the art studios to discuss the project. The artists worked through most of the spring and summer to finish their work for public display.

“The work that has come out of this inaugural group of artists and researchers is just absolutely incredible,” Dr. Standley said. “When we had our first virtual studio visit, which was with Danielle Wood and Dr. Michael Murray back in April, and I saw what she was creating, I was speechless.  Each studio visit with an artist after that just continued to amaze me.  I am so impressed by how this exhibit turned out and I am so excited to see what future pairs will be able to create.”

In order to connect with the right artists for this project, Dr. Standley and the PBC enlisted the help of local art gallery, Bentley Gallery and its director Craig Randich. He admitted the project was a new challenge with the dynamic between the art and science community, but that it created some really good pieces.

“By nature, many artists are motivated by curiosity and exploration; it’s always rewarding to be able to present artists with an opportunity to work a bit outside of their usual approach, to give them the challenge along with a new audience,” Randich said. “And, as a gallerist who keeps long-standing relationships with the artists we work with, I’ll be particularly interested to see if there are any artists who really grab on to some aspect of this in a way where their artworks or process are influenced moving forward.”

The work will be available for public viewing beginning September 2 in the Health Sciences Education Building on the Phoenix Bioscience Core. The grand opening will be from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Following its time at the HSEB, the exhibition will be in various locations throughout Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.

“The Artist + Researcher program was created to deepen the Phoenix Bioscience Core’s relationship with the community,” said David Krietor, executive director of the PBC. “This program allows researchers from each of the three universities to share the work they’re doing with a wider audience by tapping into the creative genius of these local artists. We’re so proud of the work that these teams created, and we’re excited to see this program continue to flourish in years to come.”

Explore the art

Learn more about each of the pieces here, and slide through the slideshow below to learn more.

Forming the PBC Arts Committee

The Artist + Researcher Exhibition is part of a larger initiative for the Phoenix Bioscience Core to connect the PBC and its life science faculty, staff and students with the larger Phoenix community. This summer, the PBC is proud to announce the PBC Arts Committee, which was formed this summer following a generous contribution from the City of Phoenix.

“We know the arts are part of the daily fabric of our communities, so when the arts can partner with other vital sectors like science and medicine, then it’s a win for our residents,” said Mitch Menchaca, executive director of the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. “The City is proud to sponsor the Phoenix Bioscience Core’s arts initiatives, like the Artists and Researchers program, to help support capital that will ensure artists’ participation, time, and talents in these efforts.”

The committee, which is comprised of faculty from the three university, the City of Phoenix, and members of the arts and culture community; is focused on creating new and exciting opportunities to connect art and life science. This includes:

  • commissioned opportunities for artists
  • program participation that includes creating and touring work around the PBC, as well as selling opportunities for artists.
  • opportunities for artists to present in front of scientists and the wider Phoenix community.
  • Deepen the connection between our art and research communities through workshops, museum field trips and other programming.

The Committee will be led by Dr. Standley, who hopes its benefits will extend beyond just the university community that works and learns on the PBC.

“The community benefiting from the work of the Phoenix Bioscience Core Arts Committee is varied and widespread.  Certainly the faculty, staff, and students on the campus of the Phoenix Bioscience Core, including those from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University, benefit from viewing the art installations, attending artists talks and participating in artist-led workshops,” she said. “Moreover, as the work of the committee continues, the hope is to bridge and integrate art and science such that the community learns more of the innovations happening in the PBC core through something so approachable as the medium of art.”

The genesis of the PBC Arts Committee comes from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix’s Art in Medicine program, which was the recipient of a 2021 Governor’s Arts Award. The goal is to help students and faculty address problems in new ways that help them when they’re in the clinic or lab.

“The goal with all of this is to help medical and health professional students improve patient care as well as student wellness,” Dr. Standley said. “Encouraging the development of a broader set of communication tools through the arts  improves problem solving, decision making, learning and focused attention, which helps to make a great healthcare practitioner, and that’s what we’re aiming to achieve through our arts programming.”

Photo Credit: Noelle Haro Gomez, University of Arizona Health Sciences

Video Credit: Roy Wageman, University of Arizona Health Sciences

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