Artful Science: Creativity Research

There’s a lot of research into creativity and critical thinking.

What’s particularly relevant are studies looking at how arts integration can influence, and often enhance, both creativity and critical thinking beyond the arts.

Below, I’ve quoted four articles that speak to this point, but there are many others. Get in touch for more! Continue reading Artful Science: Creativity Research

September 2016 Newsletter: Making Connections through SciArt

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Click image to view full newsletter.

I spent much of the summer contributing to/planning two summer teaching institutes at the University of Wyoming, working on an art-as-science research manuscript with some great collaborators in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and crafting some illustrations of native bees for a science ed/outreach initiative based in North Carolina. And most recently, I helped facilitate UW’s first ever SciArt Symposium, which was a fascinating blend of both fields.

Through it all, I’ve been thinking about my genuine interest in being a catalyst and idea-sharer, helping others access the pleasure and productive aspects of art-science integration.

And so, this month’s newsletter focuses on some of the ideas and info I’ve encountered and shared this summer, with an eye toward connecting you to others’ ideas.

Happy sketching!

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September Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Sketching at zoos and aquariums (guest tip!)
  • Artful Science: Stardom – Women in science and the arts
  • Artful Classrooms: Drawing in the Classroom – Ideas in practice
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: Experimenting through repetition
  • News & Events:
    • Illustrated greeting cards for staying in touch this summer
    • University of Wyoming Natural History Class – student workshop
    • Bee Germs illustrations are live!
    • University of Wyoming SciArt Symposium follow-up

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August 2016 Newsletter: Taste of Summer

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August Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Shading with color
  • Artful Science: Summer in a Glass
  • Artful Classrooms: Tasty Osmosis
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: Homegrown sketches
  • News & Events:
    • Illustrated greeting cards for staying in touch this summer
    • University of Wyoming SciArt Symposium
    • National Park Service/UW residency outcomes

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Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares in Tanzania

“There’s so much of everything! All of it inextricably tangled together […] To describe is to select – and to select only a microscopic sample from this overwhelming profusion.”

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So wrote travel journalist Michael Frayan in Travels with a Typewriter, one of several books I read during my month-long research trip to East Africa. Frayan distills into two sentences the opportunity, challenges, and complexity of traveling to conduct research, particularly in a new field site.

As I mentioned in my previous update, this was my first trip to Africa. In addition to a mélange of language, landscapes, and villages/cities, the region struck me with its boggling biodiversity, and a host of socio-political situations that resist categorization or outsider resolution. I spent much of the trip mulling over my own reactions to what is ordinary life there, and pondering how to honestly incorporate it in my project without oversimplifying, romanticizing, or otherwise inadvertently appropriating.

Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares in Tanzania

Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares

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Sketching Antelope Jackrabbits and Black-tailed Jackrabbits – yes jackrabbits = hares – at the U of A Natural History Museum. (c) BGMerkle, 2016
As part of my MFA thesis, I’m working on an art-science project about tortoises and hares and the ecosystems where the two coexist: “The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare.” One of those places just happens to be the Sonoran Desert, just south of where my husband grew up. So, while we were in Arizona over the holidays, I headed to that tortoise-and-hare desert.

Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares