Putting together an art-science alliance is an idea with a lot of support… but why are we focusing this particular effort in the Southern Appalachians? Partly because it’s a region with a tremendous amount of biological diversity. But also it’s a region with a long tradition of MAKING. There are so many artists and craftspeople in the region who MAKE: bodies move, music, objects, images, connections, a mess, new spaces, surprises,  things that weren’t there before.. and renew, reshape, synthesize and upcycle things that were…  It is a region with a rich history of hands-on, embodied, unapologetically sensory exploration of the world.

A hand image in a woven fabric from Mali, thanks to Ellen Kochansky

A hand image in a woven fabric from Mali, thanks to Ellen Kochansky of Rensing Center

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It’s not just the made things, but the making, that we are interested in promoting.  Artists and scientists both look at the world with curiosity, a willingness to explore, moved by a vision, a question, a wandering, a sense of mischief, an urge to tell the truth.  Along the way, artists and scientists both make new tools and techniques, and often make new alliances.  We invite artists and scientists to reach farther with their alliances, to reach across the false art-science divide and collaborate — literally, to “work with” — each other to make novel connections.

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Mold of the bones of a hand, hand-made by Shelby Davis

Mold of the bones of a hand, hand-made by Shelby Davis of Rensing Center

Our vision is that the result of all this making is that we point to the wonders in our region, noticing how rich we truly are. Rich in species, rich in stories, rich in new adventures.  Our art+science alliance will be an invitation to explore this richness. I can’t wait to see what we MAKE of all this!

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