Celebrate undergraduate creativity in arts, sciences at Fla. Museum, Harn Museum

November 12th, 2008

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History and Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art will host the interdisciplinary Celebration of Undergraduate Creativity in the Arts and Sciences, an exhibition of research and projects in all artistic and scientific disciplines, on Jan. 11, 2009.

For the first time, the program includes student entries from the performing and fine arts and the Harn Museum Art is participating as a venue.

The event is a joint effort of the University of Florida and partners including Morehouse College, Louisiana State University, Lincoln University, Furman University, The University of Puerto Rico and others. Sponsors for the event include the National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

The Florida Museum and the Harn Museum of Art will display a variety of art including photography, performance, lighting and music in addition to scientific posters on undergraduate student research from UF and other colleges and universities. Research on fine arts, music, theatre and dance will also be showcased at the museums, and the undergraduate students responsible for the studies will be available to talk about their work and answer questions from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

“Morehouse College, Lincoln, Puerto Rico and the University of Florida have partnered for many years on collaborative research exchanges funded by the National Science Foundation,” said Randy Duran, a professor in UF’s chemistry department. “This event gives undergraduates a unique opportunity to publicize the research they’ve completed over the summer in a more interdisciplinary forum than they usually see, in front of staff from prestigious science foundations that sponsor research, the arts community and the general public.”

This year’s event expands on last year’s science-only poster session at the Florida Museum, which included nearly 100 displays and was enjoyed by 800 attendees.

UF College of Fine Arts Dean Lucinda Lavelli said she is excited to see the variety of art students are submitting.

“This is the first time for the arts portion of the event, so we don’t know how big the art section will be,” Lavelli said. “However, it’s important as a leading university to have these opportunities celebrating art and science because the two areas together represent the diversity and dynamism of the creative mind. We have a few opportunities at UF for students to combine their knowledge of art and science and this event will make creative integration an even bigger priority.”

Event coordinator Dylan Walsh said he’s hoping for 100 to 150 science entries.

“The idea and logistics behind the fine arts component have really come into focus over the last few months, and we’re hoping for an exciting turnout,” Dylan said.

In addition to presenting their work to the UF and Gainesville communities, participants will compete for several Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Undergraduate Creativity Awards. Each $2,500 prize will be awarded to the most innovative presentations in the arts and the sciences and will fund the travel and attendance of each winner to his or her choice of a meeting, workshop or exhibition anywhere in the world.

Fine arts students interested in entering visual or performance artwork must apply by Friday. An application and more information is available online, http://hhmi.chem.ufl.edu/creativity. All applications will be reviewed by faculty from the UF College of Fine Arts, Morehouse College and UF Chemistry Department.

Admission is free and open to the public. Students with questions about submitting entries should contact Dylan Walsh, (352) 392-9306.

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Writer: Kelly Donovan
Media contact: Paul Ramey (Florida Museum), 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu
Tami Wroath (Harn), 352-392-9826, ext. 116; twroath@harn.ufl.edu