• Claire Benjamin

New exhibit at Midway Airport features images of IGB research


Most corals consist of many small polyps living together in a large group. This image shows cells that make up the tentacles and wall of a single polyp; part of the polyp’s mouth is visible in the upper left. Images like this one are used to understand how corals coevolved with algae to optimize the harvesting of light from seawater, and to help predict how corals will respond to global climate change. Image provided by Carly Hill Miller, Mayandi Sivaguru, Glenn Fried and Bruce Fouke, Bruce Fouke Lab

Midway Airport passengers stuck on dreaded layovers can pass the time by experiencing 12 pieces from the “Art of Science: Images from the Institute for Genomic Biology” art exhibit.

The exhibit, located past security in Concourse A, features images used in the Institute’s innovative research projects that address significant problems facing humanity related to health, agriculture, energy and the environment.

“Art is a really cool way to learn and jumpstart conversations about research,” said Kathryn Faith Coulter, the Institute’s multimedia design specialist and exhibit’s managing artist. “By sparking a natural curiosity through these vibrant images, we hope people will discover how the research conducted at the University of Illinois relates to their families, friends, and communities.”

The exhibit, which includes two 10-foot banners and 10 pictures, illustrates the microscopic subjects that researchers are able to capture through the Institute’s Core Facilities, which provides faculty and students from across the Urbana campus and east-central region resources for biological microscopy and image analysis.

“This exhibit includes images from a variety of scientific disciplines, from coral polyps to kidney stones and human colon cancer cells,” said Glenn Fried, Director of Core Facilities. “These images represent much more than art. They represent scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that will impact how we treat human diseases, produce abundant food, and fuel a technologically-driven society.”

This exhibit was made possible in part by the Chicago Department of Aviation. Some images from the Art of Science 3.0 exhibit are also on display at the I-Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign. The Art of Science 4.0 exhibit will be held April 3–7, 2014 at the indi go Artist Co-Op gallery, with an opening reception on April 3.

Links to images from previous exhibits can be found online.

This article originally appeared in Inside Illinois.

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© Claire Benjamin