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Art meets science

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Timothy Frerichs, associate professor of art at the State University of New York at Fredonia, will give a talk next Thursday at the Central Library at noon called "Linnaeus' Gardens." His work challenges the traditional ways we observe nature -- he uses art as a tool for scientific investigation and representation. In his artistic statement on his Web site, he writes:

"My projects are based on site-specific walks of primarily transitional landscapes.  During the walks, I gather and record found objects from the site. These objects along with other researched site imagery are used to create my works. I strive to create a visual dialogue examining how collecting and collection processes (whether scientific or cultural) represent our perceptions of the natural world. I am especially interested in how these perceptions change."

At the talk, Frerichs will discuss his experience as a Visiting Artist at the Linneaus Gardens in Uppsala, Sweden, the oldest botanical garden in Sweden. His work dealt with plant classification. (Botany and art? It seems like Frerichs has a pretty fascinating collection of interests)

But then again, Vladimir Nabokov was an entomologist before he became a writer. I wonder how both communities -- scientific and artistic -- feel about this mixing of disciplines.

The talk is presented in conjunction with the library's exhibition "In the Garden: the Art of Botanical Illustration" (June 1 to Sept. 26) and as part of the National Buffalo Garden Festival (June 18-July 25).

 --Allison Eck

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