When you first picked up this issue, you probably had little idea what was depicted on the cover. Surely, “the peripheral nerve of a transgenic mouse” was not the first thought that leapt to mind.
“The images are a strange kind of beautiful,” claims Stevie Sigan. This March, you can see these strange, beautiful images up close at an exhibit that will run in conjunction with a symposium on the brain to be held at Bradley University, sponsored in part by the university’s Center for Collaborative Brain Research (CCBR), among an army of other community partners.
I find this intersection of art and science absolutely fascinating, and what a treasure to have such a unique research center right here in Peoria! These glowing images speak to the art inherent in nature—not just in a dazzling landscape at sunset or the transcendence of a flower in bloom—but the artful beauty that resides inside each and every one of us.
No, it was probably not immediately clear that this photo depicted some infinitesimal slice of a mouse brain. Perhaps you speculated it was some sort of atmospheric painting. For that, you’ll have to pay a visit to the Peoria Art Guild, whose latest exhibit is highlighted by a series of paintings entitled Sensory Landscapes, by Peoria native Sarah Nesbit.
“The crux of Nesbit’s work,” writes Jonathan Wright, “lies in that interplay between nature and the mind—the way her canvas ties the ‘limitless expanse of the outdoors’ to the unbounded mental frontier.” And so, in complementary fashion, we have science reflecting art, and art reflecting science.
I smiled while reading about Barbeque Kitten, Bradley’s improv comedy troupe. Four of its 10 members major in theater performance, but it also includes engineering and biochemistry majors. Brad Krafft, the group’s president, double-majors in accounting and economics of all things—not exactly an improv performer’s typical background. “I guess I have a healthy left and right side of my brain,” he jokes. It seems that creativity can be found everywhere—not just where you would think to look.
These thoughts again crossed my mind when I attended the Passage to India fundraiser for Easter Seals several weeks ago. I watched as Dr. Andrew Morgan, with his trademark energy, directed the Easter Seals children as they sang, clapped and danced with all their abilities. It was a joyful reaffirmation that the challenges of a disability need not handicap a child’s ability to express his or her creativity.
Look around you. Creativity can be found in the unlikeliest of places, if we only open our eyes to a different point of view. a&s