Graduate School News

UNC Researchers Merge Art, Science in New Exhibit

April 9, 2012

Life as Art: a Visual Science Fair” is a new exhibit of artistic works created exclusively by UNC-Chapel Hill scientists. Beginning on April 15, 41 faculty and graduate students in the life sciences will showcase their research as works of art at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

The exhibit was first conceptualized as an opportunity to distill scientific concepts into evocative visual representations. Therefore, each piece represents a story, methodology or discovery relevant to ongoing UNC-Chapel Hill research.

“The usual medium through which biologists and ecologists communicate their research is text; however, research on living systems often begins with visual observations,” said Jes Coyle, one of the graduate student organizers and a Royster Fellow within The Graduate School's Royster Society of Fellows. “We solicited products that would be attractive to non-scientists while still representative of scientific inquiry.”

The exhibit will be on display at the North Carolina Botanical Garden's Pegg Exhibit Hall April 15 through 29 as a part of the 2012 North Carolina Science Festival. Visitors will be introduced to the diversity of biological research under way at UNC-Chapel Hill. Rich in wildlife photography and colorful imagery, this event is suitable for all ages.

The campus community is invited to celebrate the grand opening of “Life as Art” with a reception on April 15 from 3 p.m.-5p.m. William Kier, Ph.D., chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Biology, will welcome visitors and briefly discuss the role of art in science communication. Attendees will be able to meet and engage with the scientists/artists.

For visitation information, please visit