US art exhibit highlights women in STEM 

Science editor and writer Maia Weinstock (@20tauri) describes a unique ALD event in the United States this fall. 
Go Ahead And Do It
To mark the sixth annual Ada Lovelace Day, artistic portraits of more than 30 pioneering women in the STEM fields will be on display for one month at the Art.Science.Gallery. in Austin, Texas. The exhibit, Go Ahead and Do It: Portraits of Women in Science, opens on Saturday, Sept. 13th and runs through Ada Lovelace Day, Oct. 14th.

The show will feature paintings, drawings, collages, a quilt, and framed LEGO figurines depicting STEM heroines throughout history. Scientists represented include classic STEM icons such as Hypatia and Marie Curie as well as more recent role models like Grace Hopper, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, and Shirley Ann Jackson.

The idea for the show was hatched earlier this year when I published a photo essay for Scientific American on the same theme entitled, 15 Works of Art Depicting Women in Science. One of the artists I interviewed, Hayley Gillespie, happens to run the Art.Science.Gallery., and after chatting about the possibilities, we decided to bring the virtual exhibit into the real world. The 11 featured artists in Go Ahead and Do It — the title of which is borrowed from a famous Grace Hopper quote — all have unique styles and reasons for covering the topic of women in science, so we will be including notes about their motivations and inspirations as part of the show.

In keeping with ALD tradition, the last two days of the exhibit will encourage action from the public. On the penultimate day, the gallery will host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon that will teach attendees how to add images of women in STEM to Wikimedia Commons, the repository of photos and other media used on Wikipedia articles. On Ada Lovelace Day itself — the final day of the show — the gallery will host an ALD party that will include a brief talk by yours truly on some of the history and sociology behind portraiture featuring women in STEM.

We’d love to see visitors from around the globe attending our show, so please help us spread the word! We fully acknowledge that most visitors will be from Texas, but we absolutely hope to see you there if you can join us. Of course, if you know of anyone who lives in or travels to Austin, please send them our way! The gallery will include a shop with items related to the show, and all original artworks will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Girlstart, a non-profit that provides opportunities for girls to become involved in STEM fields.

Posted in Ada Lovelace Day 2014.