Stem Cells Star in Marriage of Art and Science

By Daniella Walsh on September 04th, 2014

By Daniella Walsh | LB Indy

Leslies stem cell

Janet Dreyer earned a doctorate in molecular biology, but in her 50s enrolled at the Pasadena College of Art and Design and became hooked on art. After a hiatus from both science and art for travel, shes back to art, creating a work that combines her training in both fields, The Stem Cell Scientist.

Dreyers computer generated work came to life at the request of Laguna Beach glass and multi-media artist Leslie Davis, who organized The Art of Stem Cells. The show features conceptual works by 29 artists. Their themes address debilitating diseases and injuries and the work of scientists trying to find cures. The month-long exhibition opens Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana.

Dreyer delved into history when she built a mosaic for the show. The work includes references to the regenerating powers of the Egyptian scarab god Khepri, showing him rolling a cell instead of the sun, among other images. I chose the mosaic format because the tiles create a sense of motion reminding me of developing cells, Dreyer said.

The exhibitions opening and closing receptions will not only showcase what results when artists interact with 23 scientists, but also introduce art patrons to researchers and examples of their state-of-the art stem cell pursuits. Half of all proceeds will benefit research at the center, led for the past eight years by Dr. Peter Donovan, to whom the show is dedicated.

With a keen interest in science and particularly stem cell therapy, Davis has forged a connection to UC Irvines Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. But since 2005, Davis twin interests have yielded three other medical related art exhibitions, including one for Mission Hospital.

It was her brainpower that led to pairing center researchers with artists selected on the strength and nature of their work.

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Stem Cells Star in Marriage of Art and Science

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