Exploring Art in Biology

Expanding the Creative Scope at Mountain Lake Since 2011


ArtLab got off the ground in 2011 when University of Virginia Art Professor Megan Marlatt brought her drawing class to the Station.  The following year a sculpture class was added and an Art major was supported to do independent work at the Station.  In 2013 we initiated the sponsored Artist-in-Residency and Visiting Artist components.  The purpose of ArtLab is to bring artists and scientists together to share viewpoints, observations, philosophies, and perspectives in their common quest to observe and understand nature and biology.  Art and science are both creative endeavors.  The diversity in how artists and scientists observe the world and attempt to communicate what they see enriches and enlightens them both. 

Participation in ArtLab

Artists gather at the Station each summer for about two-weeks.  A supported Artist-in-Residence is identified by the UVA Art Department and MLBS each year. Participation as a Visiting Artist is by nomination and committee selection in early spring. Students interested in classes or fellowships should contact the Station. Course opportunities are posted under Summer Courses.  Contributions of art or financial support are welcome and will be used to build and improve the program.  Visit The Power of Place to learn how to contribute.

Components of ArtLab at MLBS:
  • Summer Art Classes - Courses offered through UVA Art and Biology Departments
  • Artist-in-Residence - A funded and featured artist, public lecture
  • Student Artist Fellowships
  • Visiting Artists - Five to ten aach summer, global recruitment
  • Artists' Participation in Station Open House
  • Art Collection - Artists' work, Lucile Walton, John J. Audubon originals, UVA Students


2014 ArtLab Program:
  • Artist-in-Residence:  Stephen Vitiello, Sound artist, July 14-26, lecture July 17.

Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and media artist. His sound installations have been presented internationally and are in the collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Past exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, MASS MoCA, the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the 2006 Biennial of Sydney, the Cartier Foundation, Paris and in public spaces including on the High Line in NYC. Vitiello has collaborated with such artists and musicians as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler, Pauline Oliveros, Julie Mehretu, Taylor Deupree and Ryuichi Sakamoto. His work is the subject of a 27- minute documentary produced by Australian TV. Vitiello has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts, Creative Capital funding in the category of Emerging Fields, and an Alpert/Ucross Award for Music. Originally from New York, Vitiello is now based in Richmond, VA where he is a professor in the department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • This summer's ArtLab features a science writing course titled Creative Approaches to Biology and Ecology taught by Hannah Rogers.  May 19-30.
  • Student fellows TBA.
  • Open House:  July 19th
  • This Summer's Visiting Artists, July 14-26: ​TBA


ArtLab Archive: 

Artist-in-Residence: Ana Golica

Visiting Artists and Student Fellows:

Annabel Nowlan - Visit her blog

Artist-in-Residence blog post by Megan Marlatt

UVA news feature on Artist-in-Residence

Professional video about visiting artist Annabel Nowlan


Beginning Drawing I and II - The Landscape, Small and Large, Megan Marlat,  UVA Dept. or Art

Special Topics in Sculpture: Sculpture and Earth, William Bennet, UVA Dept. or Art

Flickr photos from sculpture class



Beginning Drawing I and II - The Landscape, Small and Large, Megan Marlat,  UVA Dept. or Art

UVA news feature on drawing class