Small Beauties

Microbiome Art Project

The Microbiome Art Project is an art plus science collaboration between OSU's research community and "The Art Center | Corvallis" that culminated in an exhibition from April 13 to May 27, 2017.  The project focused on microbial systems that affect human health, biodiversity of animal species, and air, earth, and water quality.  This exhibition asked both artists and researchers, How Can We See the Unseen?  Microbiology tries to measure, visualize and understand complex microscopic systems in the same way artists seek understanding for life's many questions.  Through this exhibit, the arts documented and interpreted complex researsch concepts and offered a unique perspective to both the public and the scientific community.

The exhibition included invited and juried visual artists, and included a performance of music and poetry created in response to the theme.  For more information on:

  1. The show and people involved:  Microbiome Exhibits BLOG from the “The Arts Center|Corvallis”.
  2. The show's background, visit “The Arts Center|Corvallis” Link to news blast video. 
  3. For what young artists learned about microbiomes and the videos and artwork they created, visit Microcosms
  4. The poetry is available as a Chapbook













Karl Payne:  A senior in Engineering and Fine Arts, Karl is working in the Bartholomew Lab on a sculpture of the Willamette River that will find its home in the west patio of Nash Hall.  This metal and glass sculpture is a collaboration with Dr. Jerri Bartholomew and the welding program at LBCC.  Its design was influenced by discussions with scientists that have worked on the river.                       


Brianna Leahy: is an illustrator and sculptor living in the Willamette Valley.  She earned her BFA from California State Univeristy, Fullerton with an emphasis in entertainment art and animation.  Her artwork is fueled by her appreciation and respect for nature and all its living things.  Through her artwork, she hopes to evoke the joy of discovery through observation.  Brianna is currently working with the Vega-Thurber Laboratory to create scientific illustrations for textbook and journal publications.  She is also collaborating with the lab to create a comic series for web-based outreach.  Their goal is to inform and inspire children and youth to get into science!   

Samm Newton:  is an M.S. candidate in OSU's new Environmental Arts and Humanities Graduate Program.  She is currently spending time in Dr. Steve Giovannoni's lab in the Microbiology Department examining microbial communities and how the metabolic processes of bacteria contribute to global biogeochemical cycles.  A collection of paintings, prose, poetry and photography inspired by ocean microbiomes will be completed in December 2016.