Zoology collection inspires unique ‘Tagged and Bagged’ exhibition

Mar 25th, 2010 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment, Issue, March 25, 2010

The Systematic Research Collections of the University of Nebraska State Museum and the Department of Art and Art History have combined to create an art exhibit inspired by the collections in the museum’s Division of Zoology. The student-produced exhibit, “Tagged and Collected,” is on display through April 2 along the fifth floor elevator lobby at the west end of Nebraska Hall.

Building hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The public is invited to a First Friday reception for the exhibit April 2 in Nebraska Hall from 5 to 7 p.m.

Snake Jam
The “Tagged and Bagged” exhibition in Nebraska Hall includes “Snake Jam” by Nina Colgan.

“Tagged and Collected” evolved through a collaboration in the fall semester between Patricia Freeman, professor and curator of the museum’s Division of Zoology, and Aaron Holz, assistant professor of art and art history. The exhibit was organized by art and art history graduate assistant Victoria Hoyt.

In the fall semester, Holz’s beginning painting class was given a tour of the museum’s zoology collection housed in Nebraska Hall. The collection includes more than 400,000 specimens, consisting of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and mollusks. The students could decide which specimens to portray on canvas, that could be anything from a pattern on a feather, how a skull casts a shadow, or the lab environment in which the specimens are housed. The students drew inspiration from what biologists see, such as species, geography, history – as well as more artistic elements such as textures, colors and organization. Using these influences, the students created paintings that showcased their individual take on the biological science of zoology.

A similar collaboration between the zoology division and art department is in the works for the fall semester.

Birds of Paradise
“Birds of Paradise” by Lindsey Graef.

For more information, go to www.museum.unl.edu.

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