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BHSU to host electron micrograph art show

 Black Hills State University is celebrating the Year of Science by showcasing the beauty of science in an art exhibit in the David B. Miller Student Union Ruddell Gallery Sept. 30 through Oct. 23. Artwork by Kelly Collins, communication arts graduate from Rapid City.

Black Hills State University is celebrating the Year of Science by showcasing the beauty of science in an art exhibit in the David B. Miller Student Union Ruddell Gallery Sept. 30 through Oct. 23.

The art exhibit features a collection of electron micrograph images from Dr. Richard Kessel, professor emeritus of biological science at the University of Iowa and a pioneer of using an electron microscope for biological research. Kessel taught in biological sciences for 38 years and wrote six books on cell biology, histology and electron microscopy.

Electron micrographs are photographs taken from a television monitor connected to an electron microscope. Steve Babbitt, BHSU professor of photography, says, “In real life, of course, you would never be able to see any of these objects with the naked eye. You would never guess what you are looking at. The objects are magnified many times and they make surprisingly beautiful and interesting imagery.”

Dr. Shane Sarver, director of the Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources (CCBR), and Babbitt collaborated to introduce this exhibit that blends sciences and photography. Saver notes, "Advances in science are often the result of new technology and probably the most significant technological development in biology was the microscope. This exhibit brings together science, technology, and art to capture the beauty of the natural world, not visible to us without a man-made tool. Is it science or is it art?"

The exhibit includes a number of pieces created by BHSU photography students in a digital photography class taught by Babbitt. Students were asked to transform one or more electron micrograph images into their own artwork.

The exhibit will also feature a taped interview with Kessel about the electron micrograph images. BHSU graduate John Englebrecht conducted the interview.

The public is invited to view this unique exhibit. This event is sponsored by BHSU’s CCBR and the student photography organization Shutterbuzz.

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