Art and Science Converged in Kinetic Gallery

Mon Dec 17, 2018 at 09:28 AM

Students in Harpreet Panesar’s Biology 141 (Anatomy and Physiology) class became artists recently, producing 2D and 3D projects for an exhibit called “Tissue World: Life Magnified.” The assignment was to explain how different tissue cells in the human body resemble things one views in nature. Some of the projects had clever titles like “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart” and “Rumplelizardskin.”

"Projects like this help students learn beyond the content and helps their creative side,” says Panesar. “It helps them make connections between content and real life, think outside the box, and it is fun."

Khari Wright is in her first semester at BRCC, completing prerequisites to apply to the nursing program. She received her LPN training at Massanutten Technical Center and works full time at The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton. She’s also a wife and mother of two young girls, so returning to school was a big decision, but one that makes her proud.

Khari Wright and project “Ring Around the Bony"

“I was apprehensive at first, wondering if I could really make it work. But so far, so good!” says Khari. “Blue Ridge is the right fit for this time in my life. I want to advance myself. I know where I want to be and I take education very seriously.”

Her submission to the exhibit, called “Ring Around the Bony,” compared bone tissues called osteons to a transverse cut tree log. Even though Anatomy and Physiology has the reputation as one of the most difficult college courses, Khari notes that it is foundational learning for all the health care fields.

“A&P is difficult because it’s a core part of nursing,” the Staunton native says. “Once you understand it though, it puts all the pieces together. It is priceless knowledge for patient education, which I do a lot. When the details all come together, you have a sense of accomplishment.”

Stephen Bradshaw’s project, called “A ‘Berry’ Stratified Cuboidal ET,” compared tissues found in many human glands to a blackberry, vertically cut. Stephen graduated in 2011 with a degree in Health Sciences from JMU, but is returning to Anatomy class because he plans to apply to physical therapy school. He chose BRCC because of convenience and affordability.

Stephen Bradshaw and project “A ‘Berry’ Stratified Cuboidal ET”

“You can’t beat the community college if you just need a few classes,” Stephen says. “The teachers at BRCC are great.”

Science and art faculty have tossed around the idea to use this assignment as an art exhibit for a couple of years. Colleen Pendry, professor of art, says, “Cross-discipline projects like this are fascinating and so important for students.”