This week, the streets of downtown Ann Arbor will fill with art lovers, perusing the wares offered at hundreds of artists’ booths at the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair.
But at one booth down on East University Avenue, the “artists” all have day jobs — as research scientists.
And the images they create aren’t just beautiful. They come from laboratory studies that might save lives.
It’s science art at its finest – and all of it has a University of Michigan connection.
The vibrant prints and notecards for sale at the booth all bear images made by U-M medical research teams.
Taken through microscopes or scanners, each one brings the hidden worlds of cells and the inner body to life.
The program is called U-M BioArtography, and it’s run by the Center for Organogenesis with participation from more than 200 faculty and staff in nearly every U-M Medical School department and four other U-M schools and colleges.
Every year, a jury of artists and scientists selects new images as winners of the annual BioArtography competition, based on their combination of abstract beauty and scientific truth. The new images are unveiled at the Art Fair.
From Wednesday, July 16 through Saturday, July 19, the team will offer small and large prints of more than 20 colorful images, as well as notecards sold individually or in packs of 9.
The booth is #112 of Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair, on E. University between Willard and S. University.
Prints and notecards are also available online at www.bioartography.com, where shoppers can choose from more than 200 images.
But online shoppers won’t have the authentic Art Fair experience of blazing heat, torrential rain and the risk of impalement by tourists carrying sharp-ended garden art.
Each BioArtography item comes with an evocative title, a description of the research that generated the image, and the name of the artist/scientist who created it.
Proceeds from the sale of the scientific art go to an important purpose: paying the way for young scientists to travel to conferences where they can present their findings and make important career connections.
“In a time of budget cuts for scientific grants, these dollars are needed more than ever,” says Deborah Gumucio, Ph.D., the cell biologist, professor and center founder who helped develop BioArtography. “More than 80 U-M graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been awarded travel funds from the pool of revenues built up over the last eight years.”
Gumucio is interim chair of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at the Medical School, and holds the James Douglas Engel Collegiate Professorship.
Take the next step:
- See more of BioArtography’s images, and order prints or cards online
- Find the BioArtography booth on this map of the Art Fairs – it’s #E112 in the orange-colored area of East University St, just south of South University St.
- Plan your trip to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs with this Event Guide
- Learn about the research of the U-M Center for Organogenesis, which sponsors BioArtography
Since 1850, the U-M Medical School has helped lead the nation in educating physicians & biomedical scientists; advancing research in a wide range of basic, translational, clinical and health services fields; and serving patients & the community through its faculty physicians. As a vital part of the U-M Health System, and of one of the nation’s most respected universities, the Medical School helps create the future of medicine through discovery.