The intersection of art and biology occurs in a new exhibit at a Valley gallery

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Friday, April 21, 2023 - 3:01pm

Tyler Murdock
Illustration of a mole cricket.

A new scientific art exhibit titled, “The Things We Did Not Measure: Art Inspired By Biological Research” opens Friday in the Valley.

It’s the brainchild of Arizona State University graduate students Tyler Murdock and Meredith Johnson who are part of the same insect research group on campus.

Murdock studies chemical communication in ants and said the intersection of art and science is natural because curiosity inspires science and beauty inspires curiosity. “The aesthetic appeal of nature emulates both the urge to do it justice in the form of art or to try and convey that emotional appeal, but it also stimulates scientific research. So, I think science and art are really closely connected," Murdock said.

He said the interactive show is perfect for families and features paintings, illustrations, photography and sculpture.

It also appeals to those interested in the bizarre and the demeanor of insects, or people who might enjoy the Alien movie franchise and modern TV shows, for instance.

“We even have a photo of a carpenter ant, which is a group of ants I study, that’s been parasitized by the cordyceps fungus which was the inspiration for the show ‘The Last of Us’ [starring Pedro Pascal, aka 'The Mandalorian'] and has become popular in the last few months,” said Murdock.

The free exhibit is housed at Modified Arts gallery in Phoenix.