BY JACKIE BONOLA
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury has a new limited exhibit titled “Scientific Illustration: Artistry in the Age of Science,” that is sure to impress anyone that experiences it.
The feature exhibit is in the LaMay gallery at the museum. The blue walls are filled with different kinds of scientific illustrations. Some of these illustrations are ones that one would find in a science textbook. Some of them are colorful while others are just black and white.
Scientific illustration is its own form of art that can only be performed in a manner in which detail is interpreted by an artist and their perspective. And with that, everyone has their own perspective to any object they study.
In the exhibit, there are prints and originals featured from old and contemporary artists. They have illustrations by famous artists like John James Aubudon, Mark Catesby, John and Elizabeth Gould. The artist does not only capture the object, but the environment surrounding the object as well.
Gina Viera, education assistant at the Ward Museum, has seen many age groups come through the Ward Museum’s doors. “A lot of people have come to see the exhibit and we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback,” she said.
The combination of science and art is rarely perfected. The science portion of it comes from the studying and learning of the object that is being illustrated. The biology and anatomy are taken into comsideration when illustrating these images.
One may think that illustrations and paintings will soon become obsolete with the advances in technology. Cellphone technology has improved the image result with the capability of a resolution of, at least, 12 megapixels. However, this art form is unique and necessary.
“I think they can capture different kinds of details. They can do things that photography can’t. Illustration and painting allows for interpretation from the artist,” said Jackson Medel, curator at the Ward Museum.
“Photography is, in some ways, sort of flat,” Medel said, “and it just has one [side], it just captures what’s there. And it can do it in amazing detail. Photography is certainly a beautiful medium that people work in. But, I think painting and illustration can do things and interpret things in a way that photography can’t.”
Aside from the usual wildfowl displays and art that the Ward Museum features all year round, the museum’s main exhibit changes. They also give aspiring artists the opportunity to showcase their own work.
Shania Adkins, director of special events, was there when the exhibit opened up. There were 500 people at opening night. “The feature exhibits are usually the most popular,” Adkins said.
This exhibit is free to Salisbury University students and is leaving on May 14, so students should check it out before it is gone.