Rebecca Kamen, artist, and lecturer on the intersections of art and science, seeks ‘the truth’ through observation. Her artwork is informed by wide-ranging research into cosmology, history, philosophy, and by connecting common threads that flow across various scientific fields to capture and re-imagine what the scientists see.
Kamen has exhibited and lectured both nationally and internationally. As catalysts for her artwork, she has investigated scientific rare books and manuscripts at the libraries of the American Philosophical Society, the Science History Museum, and the Cajal Institute in Madrid. She has also worked on collaborative projects at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, the Kavli Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Rochester Institute of Technology. While artist in residence in the neuroscience program at National Institutes of Health, Kamen interpreted and transformed neuroscience research into sculptural form.
Her work has recently been exhibited in the Creative Resilience: Art by Women in Science an international exhibition sponsored by UNESCO at their headquarters in Paris. It includes women in science from 31 countries, exploring art as a transformational aspect of the pandemic.
Kamen’s artwork is in the permanent collections of National Academy of Sciences, Porter Neuroscience Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Cincinnati Children’s Research Hospital, the Levine’s Children’s Hospital, and the Don Myers Technology & Innovation Building at American University.
As professor emerita of art at Northern Virginia Community College, Professor Kamen continues to investigate how the arts and creativity can enhance innovation and our understanding of science. Currently, Kamen is investigating the neuro-dynamics of curiosity and the creative process in her work as artist in residence in the Computational Neuroscience Initiative and Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Curiosity and the process of discovery serve as a catalyst for the development of artwork. Early childhood memories of exploring the world through a microscope and telescope instilled a deep sense of awe and wonder, planting seeds that continue to influence and advance my art/science practice.
Scientific observations expressed through the language of art and personal vision, allows me to link and transform the similarity and significance of patterns in art and nature. Investigating nature as a dynamic mapping system, my artwork reimagines what scientists see. The ideas generated by observation are then translated into abstract shapes. Vibrant color and complexity of forms express the dynamic nature of systems and structures. Making the invisible, visible, the artwork reveals the secrets of nature and fosters innovative ways of seeing the poetry in science.
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