YLEM blog A listing of events and news of YLEM and its members

October 29, 2007

YLEM Forum: Accessing Biology Through Art

Filed under: Forums — Torrey Nommesen @ 12:56 am


Thursday, November 8th at 8 pm

Canessa Gallery
708 Montgomery, upstairs
San Francisco, CA
At the foot of the Transamerica Pyramid, where Montgomery, Columbus and Washington converge, there is a small building that says “Canessa”.
Public parking up the hill on Washington St., at Portsmouth Square and Embarcadero Center.

Open to the public! Free! Doors open at 7:30. Come early and chat!

As this program shows, biology in so many ways is a very visual subject. At the molecular level, this is more of a problem, but one of the speakers, a graduate in microbiology, manages to convey its ideas using vivid paintings that use, on occasion, metaphors from mythology. Learn more about biology in an enjoyable way!


Donna Billick: Paintng murals with science students
Donna Billick, professor of art at UC Davis, will tell how her friendship with an entomologist, Diane Ullman, led to a unique collaboration. Donna Billick, professor of art at Davis, invited her entomologist friend Diane Ullman to help paint on a mural she was doing, and it resulted in a career turn that neither expected. Professor Ullman found out, when she was invited to put insects in Billick’s mural, that she hadn’t really learned what they looked like in great detail. Back to her books to research this! This gave Ullman the idea of teaching beginning entomology in conjunction with Billick’s mural projects. In the course of doing this students also learn some art! This has led to other science professors collaborating with Billick. (Ullman will speak, too, if she is recovered from surgery.)

Julie Newdoll: Paintings based on microbiology
Emotions, states of being, and nature have been personified throughout time by many cultures in the form of various gods, goddesses and mythical characters. Julie Newdoll asks the questions, “Just as Bacchus can represent wine and the state of intoxication, Venus love, and Mars war, what would the personality of a goddess for estrogen be like? What would be her life story? Our imaginations seek to see things in nature in order to make sense of them. We see constellations in the stars and faces in the clouds. What would we see in an electron microscope image if we looked long enough?”
Newdoll’s artwork has been featured on over 20 scientific journal covers in the last few years, and her paintings have been shown in both science and art venues internationally.Newdoll earned a B.A. in microbiology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.S. in medical illustration from the University of California at San Francisco. You can find her work on the web at www.brushwithscience.com and the Brush with Science Gallery, 3515B Edison Way, Menlo Park, California (650) 440-0084.

Shoshanah Dubiner’s biological images
We will project 11 paintings by Shoshanah Dubiner of Ashland, Oregon, who has been fascinated by biological forms for many decades. After a recent Cell Biology class at Southern Oregon University, Shoshanah is turning her attention to the structures of the living cell, especially the cell membrane. She brings humans into all the landscapes so viewers can imagine themselves more fully in the world of nature. Thus in “Membranes #1,” the cell at the top left is also the head of a woman; the cell membrane becomes the skin that encloses her body; the words issuing from her mouth take on a life of their own, as do all the artifacts of human culture, including artists’ paintings.

October 21, 2007

Member Events: Fire Arts & Burning Desires

Filed under: Member Events,Non-YLEM — Torrey Nommesen @ 11:42 am

swissnex logo

The canvas and paintbrush of Burning Man fire art spectaculars
at swissnex san francisco

In a collaboration between Burning Man, Leonardo journal and swissnex San Francisco, an evening symposium titled Fire Arts & Burning Desires will present several Burning Man fire artists, who will discuss the use of their work with fire as a creative medium.

From pyrrhic highlight to transcendent interaction, when is fire an appropriate part of a sculptural statement? How do we use fire in a safe way for both the artist and the audience? Learn about the behind the scenes gyrations of previous Burning Man fire art spectacles.

Fire Arts & Burning Desires is hosted by swissnex San Francisco and presented by Burning Man and Leonardo journal, who recently collaborated in publishing an exclusive collection of essays and photographs on the Fire Arts of Burning Man (Leonardo Volume 40 Issue # 4, 2007).

Speakers presenting at the symposium will include Crimson Rose (The Fire Goddess), The Flaming Lotus Girls, (TBA), Bill Codding (The Burninator), Wally Glen (The Zen Fire Garden) and DaveX, who will discuss the safety parameters of working with fire in an artistic way.

Fire Arts & Burning Desires

Date: November 2, 2007

Time: 7:00 PM

At: swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Please RSVP @ www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org

This event is hosted by swissnex San Francisco. For updated information and travel directions, please visit their web site.

Suggested donation $10.00

Questions: Contact event producer:
Louis M. Brill

October 19, 2007

Patterns SIG: Artist’s Statement about “Membranes” Painting

Filed under: Patterns in Nature — Artsci Muse @ 11:52 am

Every cell in every living organism is enclosed in a membrane. Every human body is encased in a membrane — our skin. Membranes define what is inside and what is outside. Even our psyches and societies have membranes, habits of thought and social customs defining “us” as different from “them.” Without membranes there would be only one undifferentiated “soup” of existence. But, membranes also allow movement between inside and outside, making sharing and growth possible. Thus the concept of “I” or “me” can expand as we mature and learn about others, while still retaining a sense of who we are: individual human (not cat or fish), family member (a Smith rather than the Jones next door), national citizen (American rather than Chinese), to name just a few categories. And all the while, at smallest unit of biological life, there is no escaping the containment of membranes, the existence of an “it.”

On the purely chemical-biological level, every cell membrane is made of two layers of molecules called phospholipids. The “phospho” part of the molecule (represented by a dot) is attracted to the water that is both inside and outside the cell; the “lipid” part (shown as a little tail) repels water and is stays in the space between the two phospho layers. There are proteins embedded in the membrane through which food and minerals pass in and waste products out. Within the cell there are “organelles” also made up of the same phospholipid membranes — folded, pleated and balloon-like — where the business of maintaining life is carried on: food is metabolized into energy, cell repair work is done, wastes are carried away.

This painting began with a cell in the upper left. The large circular form metamorphosed into the head of the entire human body with hands and a large opening running from mouth to anus. Out of the mouth comes breath and words, which take on a life of their own. Soon we are in the realm of mystery: a baby waiting to be born, sheltered under the umbrella-like leaves of a begonia plant. Squiggles of color represent the almost countless numbers of molecules – proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, amino acids, fats and minerals — that come together to dance the intricate and interconnected dance of life .”

October 15, 2007

Patterns SIG: Patterns in Nature North

Filed under: Patterns in Nature — Artsci Muse @ 12:31 am

Membranes #1
Membranes #1 by Shoshanah Dubiner, 2007, gouache on paper, 19″ x 24″

A Patterns in Nature Study Group has just formed in Ashland, Oregon, hosted by Shoshanah Dubiner who started the Bay Area group with Trudy Myrrh back in 2003. We enjoyed our first meeting today with one entomologist, one mathematician, and two artists, and are looking for 2-3 more people. After two hours of getting to know each other, our interests and intentions, we adjourned with lots of enthusiasm our next monthly meeting. We recognized that many artists are interested in and inspired by science in their work. For now, one of the big questions in the group was “How can art help science?”

October 12, 2007

Member Events: Forms and Figures – Paintings from the 1950s and 1960s by Eleanor Kent

Filed under: Member Events — Torrey Nommesen @ 9:09 am

Eleanor Kent - paintings of the 50s and 60s

2240A Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

October 27 – November 30, 2007
Tuesday – Friday: 10AM – 6PM, Saturday: 12 – 5PM, and by appointment.

Please join us for a reception for the artist:
Saturday, October 27, 6:00 – 8:30PM

These paintings from the 1950’s and 60’s are part of my early joyful explorations in color and my various experiments in the visual representation of figures and forms. They are the foundation for my subsequent work in other media. And I continue to paint.

It was an exhilarating time to be in North Beach in the late fifties. The coffee shops and bookstores were full of ideas and people and music. It was the era of both figurative and abstract painters. Classes with DuCasse, Bischoff, Oliviera, Lobdell, McGaw, and Marie-Rose were full of students also enthusiastic about painting. They learned from each other as well as their teachers: Joan and Bill Brown, Jose Ramon Lerma, Manuel Neri, Renate and Bill McLean, Dean Fleming, Sung Woo Chun, Bob McFarland and Akio Kobayashi. Flo Allen founder of the model’s guild and wonderful friend to all the artists and instructors posed for them. Many worked together independently in the school studios as well as the classrooms. It was good time to trade ideas and techniques and lay the foundation for later work in painting and other media.

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