Create a Microbial Masterpiece for ASM’s Agar Art 2018 Contest!
The American Society for Microbiology
In Partner with The School of Visual Arts
ASM AGAR ART 2018 Contest Microbial Masterpiece
When: Thursday, March 1st & Saturday March 3rd, 2018, 3-6pm
Where: School of Visual Arts, Fine Arts Department
335 West 16th St. New York, NY 10011
Hosted and Sponsored by School of Visual Arts | Fine Arts Department
Ever wanted to paint with life? SVA is proud to offer you access to the American Society for Microbiology’s Agar Art contest. Create your own work of art using microbes as “paint” and agar as a “canvas.” No experience necessary! In this two part, hands-on workshop, you will create your own Agar Art using live microbes. Photos of the Agar Art created in this workshop are eligible to enter the American Society of Microbiology contest. Media outlets in 12 countries, from Discovery to BBC News to The Huffington Post, featured coverage of the previous competitions and its winners.
PART 1: 03/01/18 Thursday 3PM-6PM
Participants will create Agar Art by painting with microbes and learn how to use traditional biology lab techniques with artistic tools. A team of trained staff and PhD level scientist will hold an in-depth teaching session and discussion about the microbes you used in your Agar Artwork, about the human microbiome and about genetic engineering biotechnology used to modify bacteria colors.
PART 2: 03/05/18 Saturday 3PM-6PM
After incubation, participants will return to the SVA Bio Lab to observe the now visible bacterial paintings. Lab assistants will introduce a variety of post-production techniques to refine and edit the designs. The final works will be photographed and submitted to the ASM Agar Art contest.
SVA Art and Science Laboratory
Bio Art Lab. SVA BFA Fine Arts
School of Visual Arts, New York
The Bio Art Lab was founded in 2011 as part of the SVA’s BFA Fine Arts new facility consisting of 54,000 square feet in the heart of Chelsea, NYC. The Lab was founded and is directed by Suzanne Anker, Chair of the BFA Fine Arts Department. Conceived as a place where scientific tools and techniques become tools and techniques in art practice, the Lab is the result of many people’s expertise, research and sustained effort. Such deftness and collaborative efforts continue to remain crucial in developing this facility to its full potential.
Joe Tekippe and Luis Navarro were responsible for all high-tech computer access including our full range of hardware and software installation and maintenance. More recently Michael Falk has coordinated, experimented with and set up the necessary photographic resources we need in place for our microscopic image making. Daniel Wapner and Sung Jin Choi used their skills to seamlessly build both stainless steel and aluminum stands housing our fish and plants. Mark Rosen set up a check-in check-out system for our library. Brandon Ballengée added his knowledge concerning fresh water fish and frog tanks in addition to the acquisition of a chemical hood where the preservation of specimens and cleaning and staining of aquatic animals could take place. Dr. Ignacio Lopez-Coviella was a great consultant in developing our microscopic practices, pointing us in the direction of three types of microscopes: a compound microscope, a dissecting microscope and an inverted microscope. Marine biologist Joe Di Giorgis expanded our collection of microscopes by loaning us a full array of dissecting microscopes and analyzing the camera requirements for each. Molecular scientists, Oliver Medvedik and Ellen Jorgensen from Genspace consulted in regard to our incubators, HEPA filter and autoclave as well as helping to design projects relevant to Bio Art practice. Ellen and Oliver are also our current “scientists in residence” working with students on the use of bio-materials for art projects and the barcoding of plants from the surrounding environment. Tarah Rhoda researched labware, lab rules and formats for molecular cuisine and tissue culturing as well as lighting systems for plants and lab protocol, safety and workflow. Many student workers were instrumental in maintaining the live plants and organisms in the Lab with care, integrity, and enthusiasm. And I say the same for the various visiting artists who have shared their expertise with us (see separate link.) Scott Vaughn of NY Aquarium in NYC manages our salt water aquarium which houses coral, an anemone, hermit crabs and starfish. Sebastian Cocioba from NY Botanics, introduced techniques for plant tissue culturing of African violets and venus fly-traps. He is also developing an “SVA” palette for painting with bacteria. Sebastian and Sung have been helping us develop a molecular biology component of our lab employing PCR practices, synthetic biology and forensics in analyzing molecular data. Raul Gomez Valverde has designed our micro website, www.bioart.sva.edu, and has produced outstanding pictures of student works produced in situ. George Boorujy has donated marvelous taxidermied duck specimens which appear as if in flight. And of course our great thanks to President David Rhodes and Provost Jeff Nesin for allowing us to go forward with this great resource.