Above Thumbnail sketch ideas visualizing the importance of pollinators, Ysemay Dercon

art+science workshops


Our workshops are designed to give artists the opportunity to meet and collaborate with scientists who work in conservation. Participants practice using visual art to make science - botany, conservation biology, endangered species protection, evolutionary biology, landscape ecology, wildlife management, and zoology - accessible, meaningful, and relevant. Together, both artist and scientist find new ways to interpret, visualize, and communicate the science of saving species. 

Our workshops are typically hosted by an art gallery, library, museum, or school. Potential audiences include educators, ranging from middle school teachers to college professors; curators at museums, nature centers, science centers; student, amateur, and professional artists and designers; and, student, amateur, and professional scientist-artists. 

The workshop topic - saving species, the wildlife trade, urban wildlife, or visualizing science - depends on the venue and audience. The material presented in the "Art and Science of Saving Species" workshop includes an overview of the six major "extinction drivers," and various examples of animals in trouble that either have, or could, benefit from visual art intervention. The material in the other two workshops is drawn from our two traveling exhibits, each of which is focused on one or two of these extinction drivers. These include agriculture/farming and habitat loss for the workshop on "Exploring the Art and Science of Urban Wildlife Conflict;" and, hunting/fishing and global trade for the workshop on "Wildlife Trade Art and Science." 

Workshop goals


The goal of each workshop is to give participants an opportunity to practice using visual art to visualize and communicate the science behind saving species.

The workshop begins with Dr. Lucy's TEDx talk, updated to the present; she offers an overview of the dire situation facing the animal kingdom today, the importance of engaging more of the public in conservation, and the potential for doing so by reconnecting the arts and sciences. She includes examples of artwork created by her students and other Creature Conserve collaborating artists. From there, the format is science presentation/sketch/crit/sketch again. The workshop is in essence a series of brief presentations by invited scientists whose work is relevant to the theme (wildlife trade or urban wildlife.) Artists, designers and scientists work in teams to generate at least a dozen "thumbnail" sketches in response to the presented material, which the group then critiques. Depending on time, there can be several crit rounds. Although the ultimate goal is artwork that engages new audiences in new ways, the more important and immediate goal is to practice idea generation. These workshops are also an excellent opportunity for collaborators to find each other (artist, designer, scientist.)   

2018 workshopS

"Wildlife Trade Art and Science" Tiffen University, Tiffen Ohio (March 2018)

"Art and Science of Urban Wildlife Conflict" at National Museum Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole WY (April 2018)

"Art and Science of Saving Species" at GreenHill Arts Center, Greensboro NC (May 2018)


For more information or if you are interested in a workshop, please email us at connect@creatureconserve.com