April Flanders, Professor, Appalachian State University, MFA

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What was the inspiration behind your artwork?

This installation addresses two aquatic invasive species; zebra and quagga mussels, which have invaded the Great Lakes and are moving inexorably across North American freshwaters. These colonizing filter feeders disrupt the food web, damaging fisheries and creating unhealthy algal blooms.  This piece reflects the fragility of this once abundant ecosystem by contrasting the delicate nature of plankton and native algae with the vigorous lifecycle of these prolific mussels.

What do you see as the similarity between science and art? Why is science-art important in today’s society?

Science and art each strive to describe the visible and invisible world around us. Creating a conversation between these two powerful tools can double the impact of each. Art can amplify science, and science can inform art. 

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