Marston Library, museum resurrect science art contest

July 28th, 2014

12790-The-Elegance-of-Science-rotatorGAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Elegance of Science art competition that stresses the connection between artistic and scientific perceptions of reality is now accepting submissions until Dec. 20.

After a three-year hiatus, the Marston Science Library and Florida Museum of Natural History are re-introducing the contest to UF students, staff and faculty who have created two-dimensional images as part of their research or that feature scientific tools or concepts.

Art is often sacrificed in schools because people emphasize science for students’future careers, said Andrei Sourakov, a collection coordinator at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity on the UF campus.

“However, human curiosity is frequently sparked by the aesthetics of the world,” Sourakov said. “A child may want to know more about the properties of light after seeing his or her first rainbow.”

Patternicity occurs when scientists see unrelated images in micro-worlds they are observing. The contest shares these patterns to teach the world about science in a casual way while bringing together people from unrelated disciplines throughout UF campus.

Sarah Allen, a graduate student in paleobotany at the Florida Museum, who won third place in 2011, said art heavily influences scientific understanding, and the contest allows scientists to appreciate the aesthetic component of their work while making artists appreciate the scientific value of non-traditional art.

“One of the best ways for us to communicate information to the general public about animals, plants and landscapes of the past is through drawings and dioramas,” Allen said.

Prizes include $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place. The recipient must be eligible to receive payment from UF.

Each participant may submit a maximum of five entries. Entries must be high-resolution images with a 150-word limit description on the artistic, scientific and educational value of the image. The narrative should target high school science students.

The Elegance of Science committee of four independent judges from Gainesville’s art and science communities will determine the winning entries based on the combined score of the images with best scientific and artistic merit.

Artwork must be original, created by the contestant and submitted using the official entry form. All contestants retain copyright for submitted entries.

For specific instructions on submitting entries, visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/elegance-science/overview/.

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Writer: Rosanna Del Cioppo, rdelcioppo@ufl.edu
Source: Andrei Sourakov, asourakov@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2013
Media Contact: Paul Ramey, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2054