Christine Marizzi, Ph.D. is an award-winning scientist and educator and Chief Community Scientist at BioBus, Inc. In New York City, New York, USA.
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What was the inspiration behind your artwork?
Christine: Offering the public access to the microbial world through a BioArt activity, while addressing critical themes such as genetic engineering and antimicrobial resistance.
Jennifer: Making the invisible visible - trying to anticipate the unknown potential was exciting.
"New York City Sunrise" is an AgarArt master piece showing a classic New York City skyline. The piece was created by Jennifer Isaacs, a new York City public school teacher, at an Agar Art workshop hosted by Christine Marizzi in a laboratory setting. AgarArt is a wonderful example of STEAM. The STEAM movement advocates the addition of art and design to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The rationale is two-fold: 1) scientific discovery and technological innovation both require creative thinking and 2) art and design can act as entry points for those who might otherwise be uninterested or intimidated by science. By partnering with American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and hosting a series of AgarArt events in the lab Christine engaged hundreds of artists, scientists and community scientists in discussions around the potential modern microbiology - very often with a long lasting impression.
In the words of the artist: "Sometimes I visually recall this piece in my mind. Early in the morning when walking East and the rising sun resplendently peeks over The Bronx, I see this piece. Working with Agar was fascinating, trying to anticipate the unknown potential was exciting. My favorite areas are where the Agar seemed to blend as it grew. It resembled changing light to me and felt like a captured moment in time.
Medium: Standard Luria Broth agar whitened with titanium dioxide, selective for AMP resistant bacteria.
Transgenic Escherichia coli (BSL-1, K-12 strain) expressing blue (Blue Chromogenic Protein, pChromoBlue), purple (Purple Chromogenic Protein, pChromoPurple), orange (Orange Fluorescent Protein, pTang) and yellow (Yellow Fluorescent Protein, pYFP) proteins.
What do you see as the similarity between science and art? Why is science-art important in today’s society?
Please see introduction. By drawing on the nexus between art and science, STEAM has the potential to reach many people over a short period of time.