Kohler Fellows Host Three Art-Science Fusion Community Events at the Arboretum

View of Curtis Prairie from the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden

View of Curtis Prairie from the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden

In April, Anna Gregory and Praveen Maripelly will lead three participatory events at the Arboretum called Wisconsin Landscapes: Art and Science Fusion Workshops. Held from 1 to 3 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays, April 8, 15, and 22, the workshops will combine an educational nature hike with a collaborative art project. The April 8 and 22 programs are suitable for families with children. The events are free and require advance registration through Eventbrite.

Anna and Praveen are UW–Madison graduate students in microbiology and fine arts, respectively, and Kohler Fellows @ WID. For their project, they wanted to demonstrate the interconnectedness of science and art by highlighting how both are present in nature. A collaboration with the Arboretum seemed like the perfect way to engage the Madison community in a natural space. During the Wisconsin Landscapes: Art and Science Fusion Workshops, participants will take a one-hour hike and learn about Wisconsin’s water, flora, and fauna. For the second hour, participants will demonstrate their knowledge by constructing a visual art piece. Anna and Praveen hope to focus community attention on the beauty of Wisconsin landscapes and how ecosystems function through reciprocal relationships.

Anna Gregory is a graduate student in the Hryckowian Lab at UW–Madison. She studies the gut microbiome with a focus on the bacterial pathogen Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile). She is interested in understanding how C. difficile responds to oxygen exposure to develop novel therapies for C. difficile infections (CDI). In the future, Anna hopes to teach life science at a primary undergraduate institute. In her free time, Anna enjoys hiking, doing jigsaw puzzles, and finding the best mochas in town.

Praveen Maripelly was born in a small village in the southern part of India. He is a first-generation college student pursuing his second graduate degree, a Master of Fine Arts 4D at UW–Madison, after earning a master’s degree in visual arts (printmaking) in 2009 from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, India. He lost both of his parents at a young age and began pursuing art along with his diligent and mindful practice of yoga. This has shaped him into the person he is today and enabled him to address societal issues through his art. The performance-based interdisciplinary social projects Prayogillu and Chai Stories blur lines between gender and caste issues, address institutional racism, and build social interactions between people in rural areas and the greater global community. In his projects, generosity, hospitality, and connections are ethical components. Praveen Maripelly states “that social aesthetics lies in building community and creating social relations.”

The Marie Christine Kohler Fellows is a program for graduate students that fosters interdisciplinary thought and promotes principles and processes that support antiracism, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The program pairs one science fellow and one art fellow together to envision, create, and execute a science-art fusion project/event for the larger Madison community.