Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The #LuxArt2015 Bioluminescence Awards!

I so enjoy the intersection between microbiology and art, as I have explored in other blog entries here,  such as this one and this one.  

Because of some of the wonderful "microbial art" I have seen in various places, recently both of the luminescent and nonluminescent variety, I decided to involve my current Biology 350 student micronauts.  We need more PR for the great work my students do, after all!

This prior entry of mine describes our #LuxArt2015 competition. I thought readers of this blog might appreciate seeing the winning entries, and the prizes they received for their artistic efforts.

First, there was the opening of our LuxArt2015 Awards Ceremony, complete with "glow in the dark" lollipops instead of a red (Serratia?) carpet. 

Our seventh place entry, by Brian, was a "two part" artwork depicting an anglerfish (since they are themselves luminous, I was personally pleased).

And here is Brian accepting his well-deserved award---luminous fingernail polish.  I keep hoping to see him model the results, but no luck so far.

The sixth place entry, by Madison, made me laugh out loud.  I am a an enthusiastic fan of "Ron Swanson" (played by the inimitable Nick Offerman) on "Parks and Recreation."  How wonderful that Ron Swanson was celebrated in living light!  I just wonder how his character would respond.

Here is Madison accepting her award of luminous nail polish.

Our fifth place entry continues the tradition of "Frozen."  Taylor, the artist, is clearly a fan of Olaf, and it shows up well with Photobacterium leignothi!  "Let It Glow," indeed!

Taylor accepts her award of luminous nail polish here.

Kailee was our fourth place winner, vote-wise, for her interpretation of an elephant painted in living light.

Here is Kailee accepting her award of a Giant Microbe, which certainly seems to please her (though it is Salmonella typhi).

Plus video.

I thought that third place winner Cheyenne was riffing on the odd masks worn during the Great Plagues.  In fact, her artwork is based on a character from the movie "Hercules."  

Here is Cheyenne accepting her award of a Giant Microbe (Campylobacter).  

Plus video.

Second place winner Ruth created a lovely mountain scene of Photobacterium leignothi

Here is Ruth accepting her award---an appropriately sized Giant Microbe of E. coli!

And video.

And finally, we made it to the moment we had all been waiting for: our LuxArt2015 first place winner. Olivia created a lovely angelfish of luminous bacteria.

Olivia was quite excited to receive her award, which is based on the great artwork of Megan Hatasaka.  

And, of course, video.  My micronauts are fairly patient with me. I am very, very proud of them, and want to show them off.

Congratulations to everyone!

Did you think any other entrant merited recognition?  Does this essay give you ideas for future #LuxArt exhibitions?  Please let me know in the comments section.

As for me, I very much enjoyed the entire process, and I hope my micronauts did, as well.


  1. Fantastic microbial artwork! Congrats to all the students,

    1. Thanks for spreading the word, Rich. Lots of folks get publicity for this kind of thing; I want the good things my students do to get noticed! It's all about promoting #MattersMicrobial

  2. Sweet! I remember doing this with you over the summer. 'Twas a happy moment - awesome that your students are experiencing the same joy.

    1. It was nice to chat, indeed. Thanks for the visit.


I am happy to hear your comments and suggestions. I hope to avoid spammage. We shall see how that works out!