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  BRAIN Exhibition: INTRO




16th international art-sci juried exhibition
organized by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. 
at the New York Hall of Science
October 11, 2014 - March 29, 2015

Yura Adams (USA), Laura Ahola-Young (USA), Julie Amrany (USA), Travis Bedel (USA), Federico Carbajal (Canada), Lia Cook (USA), Bonnie Cutts (USA), Gregory Dunn (USA), Lauren Evans (USA), Robert Fathauer (USA), Roger Ferragallo (USA), Debra Friedkin (USA), Eran Gilat (Israel), Geoffrey Harrison (UK), Gunes-Helene Isitan (Canada), Elizabeth Jameson (USA), Terri Lloyd (USA), José Miguel Mayo (USA), Patricia Moss-Vreeland (USA), Valeriya N-Georg (UK), Remy Nurse (UK), Robert Peters (UK), Michael Ricciardi (USA), William Stoehr (USA), Robert Strati (USA), Aga Tamiola (Germany), Franco Tosi (Italy), Jayne Walther (USA), Ron Wild (Canada)

The Online Exhibition:

Arists Reception on Oct.26, 2014

Cynthia Pannucci, ASCI Director,
and Co-Juror, Dr. Anjan Chattergee


We have entered the era of “Big Neuroscience.” The goal of the United States' Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative is to map the activity of every neuron in the human brain, and the mission of the European Union’s Human Brain Project (HBP) is to construct realistic simulations of the human brain.  Many believe these are the biggest scientific challenges of the 21st century.

Propelled by MRI and fMRI imaging technologies, scientists are already discovering fundamental mechanisms of brain function that will ultimately create a more complete understanding of what it means to be human. These “heady” times for neuroscience are also having a domino effect in the arts. Artists have long reflected upon the nature of perception, memory, and emotion to create their work. But recent breakthroughs in understanding the brain, accompanied by its visualizations, are sparking the imaginations of artists around the world. And recently, a young neuroscientist who was so enamored with the beauty of the brain’s neurons and synapses has created a successful career in the arts as a painter!

Separately, and often in collaboration with neuroscientists, artists are using abstract thinking, imagination, and visual perception to respond to new discoveries in brain science. Sometimes, they are spurred by neural maladies that have touched them personally, such as color blindness and dyslexia, or the more serious impacts of brain damage from injury, epilepsy, Alzheimers, autism, and schizophrenia, among others.

A new openness from science practitioners and a desire for public engagement with their research findings, has created a plethora of recent art+neuroscience activities including: the new scientific field of Neuroaesthetics; “The Beautiful Brain: Art and Science of the Human Mind” online forum; The Interalia Magazine dedicated to the interactions between the arts, sciences, and consciousness; “Neuroscience Art” exhibitions mounted at The Society of Neuroscience annual meetings; and a 2014 production of a planetarium journey, the NEURODOME, that utilizes the data visualization tools of astronomy to depict high-resolution imagery of the brain.

This juried exhibition is the result of Art & Science Collaborations' international Open Call for stunning visual images documenting original art executed in any media that was inspired or informed by the various aspects of the brain and new discoveries in neuroscience.

Cynthia Pannucci, Founder/Director of Art & Science Collaborations, Inc.


The opportunity to glimpse diverse perceptions by a broad range of artists working in the emerging field of art-science was both enticing and rewarding. I was struck by the variety of entries, yet intrigued by the fact that my co-juror Anjan Chatterjee and I agreed, before any contact or discussion, on almost exactly half of the forty selections. And the other half was split nearly exactly between Anjan’s selections and my own, creating an exhibition that I think is a fully blended representation of two juror’s perspectives on a rich visual vocabulary inspired by the art-science interface.

In looking through the entries, I gravitated to a group that engaged the dense and seemingly incomprehensible complexities of the brain’s neural networks. I found Ron Wild’s MachuP Map, with its dissonant mélange of images, words, and colors -- a fireworks display of twinkling synapses and fleeting concepts -- particularly compelling. Geoffrey Harrison’s Brainiarb series of exquisite graphite renderings, through their formalized composition and almost surreal pairings, evoked a sense of awe, classic beauty, and enigmatic mystery belonging to an outward morphology that conceals the brain’s inner cosmos. All the others as well, those selected and those not, comprised a fascinating mosaic of how the minds of artists can self-reflect.

Stephen Nowlin, Artist and Director, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California


Neuroscientists have long been preoccupied by the aesthetics of how brains might be represented. This preoccupation is evident in Ramón y Cajal’s elegant late 19th century drawings of nerve cells while he was working out the neuron doctrine. It remains palpable in the present day colorful magnetic resonance images of our brains as we think and feel. In reviewing the submissions for this exhibit, it has been fascinating to peek at the brain from another side, a side conceived by artists. Their goal is not so much communicating the veracity of data, as it is the truth of the matter. I am struck by the sheer beauty and elegance of these artistic representations of neurons, the landscape they inhabit, their connectedness in orchestrating our minds, and their reach into the world through health and disease. The choices, in jurying this exhibit, were not easy to make. However, taken together, the final selection of artworks offers a deep vision of the physical organ that is most responsible for who and what we are.

Anjan Chatterjee, the Elliott Professor and Chief of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His recent book is The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art.

You can read a couple of show reviews:

Gayil Nalls, an artist with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, attended the Reception and posted a "review" in the Psychology Today blog at:

~ The new SciArt in America magazine sent a reviewer who created a blog post (10-31-2014) at:

Juror Abbreviated Bios:

ASCI's Exhibition Archive: 



* Social Media Partner, Megan Rhodes, a graphic + motion designer who is passionate about science.

MEDinART: an international platform for biomedical artists, created by Vasia Hatzi.

* adc-quality

Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) is a nonprofit organization with an international membership dedicated to raising public awareness of the intersections of art and science as a holistic way of viewing, learning about, and responding to our inner and outer worlds.

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