Three banners, that were created in the block-color style of Charlie Harper by an undergraduate science class, now greet visitors when they walk through the center atrium of the building. The class, in it's first year last year, challenged student to work in teams to graphically depict a topic in conservation biology using computer software.
At the unveiling of the new banners, students that had taken part in the class described how trying to depict a complex topic visually, like bioaccumulation of DDT, made them think differently about the topic and learn it's intricacies in a non-textbook manner. The students got caught up in not only creating a visually pleasing piece of art, but in ensuring that the block-colored animals depicted real species and ecosystems. This strikes me as a really fantastic pedagogy (teaching method): teaching students to think about how to explain a topic to a non-scientific audience without using any words, teaching them skills in design and graphic software that is useful in just about any profession (and definitely for science), and teaching them to work in groups to produce a finished product. I wish I had taken a course like this one when I was an undergrad, and am seriously considering sitting in on some of the course's sessions next year if I can.
Do you think she's pulling the feathers out or putting them in?
What ever your answer, this poor girl is certainly in a bit of pain to get there.
I also liked the painting below, of a girl napping in a chair, with her wings casually flung over the armrest. While these aren't paintings of birds, I think that they reflect a common theme of seeing animal tendencies or physiology in certain human traits (called zoomorphism), and a connection that people sometimes have with animals. With birds, the age-old human desire to fly and common metaphors about stretching ones wings to fly as a symbol of growth and accomplishment certainly lend themselves to artistic license.