Scientists and Artists Collaborate to Interpret Regenerative Medicine

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is partnering with the Sawtooth School for Visual Art and local artists for the “Art of Science and Healing,” a project that will result in engagement and education opportunities across the community.

Additionally, an exhibit of the created works will be exhibited at Sawtooth’s Davis Gallery during the institute’s 7th annual international Regenerative Medicine Essentials course, scheduled for June 8 -11. An opening reception for the exhibit at Sawtooth is also planned.

“WFIRM scientists and artists are going to explore the wonders of regenerative medicine science and healing through an artistic lens,” said Joan Schank, education program officer at the institute. “The Sawtooth School boasts an impressive portfolio of programs with studio labs not unlike research labs. Together, teams of scientists and artists focused on artistic methodologies will explore and promote wellness and healing.”

Sawtooth Executive Director Amy Jordan said the project is an exciting opportunity to partner with the WFIRM team in exploring connections between the arts and science. “Artists from our Sawtooth faculty will collaborate with scientists and researchers to creatively explore and interpret advancements in science through regenerative medicine.”

The partnership allows for the return of Kelly Milukas, an artist and speaker, who is also the institute’s inaugural artist-in-residence. Milukas operated a  small pop-up art studio at the institute as part of the kickoff. She previously worked with WFIRM and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation when she was commissioned to interpret the field of regenerative medicine which resulted in 25 original artworks including photography and painting that visually expressed the body’s ability to heal itself.

A kick off lunch was held Feb. 5 for the artists and scientists to introduce themselves to each other and discuss their visions for the partnership.

Meet the Artist Collaborators

Kelly Milukas, artist and speaker – Kelly seeks to build a visual bridge between the arts and sciences, by imagining and interpreting the mysteries of art and science through multiple fine art forms including traditional paint, fine art photo and mixed media sculpture. Kelly is an award-winning multi-media artist whose practice includes sculpture, pastel and encaustic painting, and fine art photography. Her art work is in national museums, international private and corporate collections, such as The Boston Group; Intarcia Therapeutics; Simpson Healthcare; and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She has served as a curator and juror and has presented talks in museums, universities, arts and science forums, and arts organizations. She is the founding President Emeritus of the South Coast Artists, RI & MA, and a Past President of the Providence Art Club.

Amy Jordan, Executive Director, Sawtooth School for Visual Arts – For Amy, Sawtooth’s Summer Arts Honors Program was an entry point in her lifelong arts journey. After spending 30 years in Asheville, where she ran a nonprofit gallery space and had her own business and art practice, she returned to Winston-Salem and found her way back to Sawtooth in 2012. She received her BA in studio art at Salem College in 2013.  Amy has established new programs, reinvigorated others, and opened new studios for printmaking and textiles. She developed the Art and Wellness program, which uses visual arts to help oncology patients and their caregivers cope with stress and complex issues. She has formed community partnerships including; Speedball, Hospice/Trellis, Cancer Services, Baptist Hospital, Novant, SECU Family House, Olio, Mixxer, WSFCS and A/perture.

Emily Ortiz Badalamente – Emily first joined the Sawtooth School of Visual Arts looking for a creative outlet during her freshman year at Wake Forest University. The drawing class she took prompted her to explore other mediums at Wake Forest, where she earned her BA double majoring in Psychology and Studio Art, with a concentration in Printmaking. During her time at Wake Forest, Emily volunteered with Arts for Life at Brenner Children’s Hospital, and was inspired by the intersection of art making and health. She went on to complete her Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Counseling at the George Washington University in Washington, DC and is a provisionally registered Art Therapist.

Terri Dowell Dennis – Terri is a recipient of two North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships (2000, 2006), a Regional Artist Project Grant (2000), and a North Carolina Arts Council Project Grant (1993). Terri has worked in the field of museum education since 1990. Currently she works part time as Associate Curator of Education for the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, her MFA in sculpture from Clemson University, Clemson, SC, and a MALS degree, in 2011, from Wake Forest University, where she focused her studies in the humanities.  
Joyce Teta
– A calligrapher and book artist, Joyce founded Calligraphy Centre in 1984 in the Triad and is well-known for her enthusiastic teaching (especially working with children). She’s been an artist (exhibiting throughout the Southeast), teacher (encouraging many with her generous open studio approach as well as regularly scheduled workshops. She is one of the most inclusive practitioners, always looking for ways for others to join the fun/movement.

Seth Charles – Seth is a lecturer of ceramics and sculpture at State College of Florida and a studio artist in St. Petersburg, Florida. He holds a BFA from The University of North Florida and an MFA degree from Central Washington University. He has lectured and led workshops around the country. Seth's work has been shown in numerous national and international exhibitions and is held in public and private collections. He has been a long-term artist in resident at The Clay Studio of Missoula and Morean Center for Clay.