2024 Annual SAMA Show

A Captivating Connection Between Art and Science

March 8 – March 24, 2024

Opening Reception: Friday, March 8, 2024 6:00pm – 8:00pm Free

A Captivating Connection Between Art and Science showcases a collection of works created by the members of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Association of Medical Artists (SAMA). 

This exhibition focuses on the art of biomedical visualization, celebrating its ability to captivate and educate in equal measure. From its niche intersection among science, medicine, and art, biomedical visualization plays many important roles in the world around us. Medical illustrations and animations work to bridge the gap between healthcare professionals and the general public, making complex information more accessible. By centering diversity as a core principle, biomedical artists can empower underrepresented patient audiences. Scientific art educates and inspires, fostering curiosity for the natural world in an increasingly digital age. Biomedical visualizations are both a reflection of and response to the state of scientific and medical education, as well as a force for accessibility.

The breadth of themes and subjects on display gives the viewer a small glimpse into the diverse world of biomedical visualization. Precise anatomical diagrams serve patient and academic audiences alike, drawn from the artist’s own thorough medical education. Dazzling molecular visualizations offer a scientifically accurate window into our smallest universes. Rich natural science illustrations for younger audiences aim to educate about the natural world while cultivating an interest in biology. From traditional illustration to 3D animation and everything in between, the wide berth of mediums on display is a testament to the variety of purposes biomedical visualization serves.

Overall, this exhibition invites the viewer to think more about the little-known discipline of biomedical visualization and the purposes it serves, both educationally and equitably.

Participating Artists

Khorizon Dunn • Nolan Pakizer • Vivian Zhuang • Marco Moreno • Natalie McAfee • Nora Jee • Raisa M. Rodríguez Maldonado • Alex Kontos • Emma Geis • Elizabeth Perakes • Jordan Aranda • Leah Balsan Susie • Hammons • Riley Cutler • Keaton Mullins • Shanling Lei • Elissa Schaffner • Hannah Hurst • Clara Baumgarten • Joanna Wiedl • Chelsey Crile • Sara Lung • Eyzel Torres • Hayley D’Alessandro • Kassie Baker

SAMA is not one artist but a collection of minds with equal passion for biological sciences and visual design. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and this is reflected in our work. With continued commitment to diversity while honing our skills as artists and designers, we look forward to a brighter future of scientific and medical education.

As a hub for UIC students interested in science and art, SAMA is committed to educating members about biomedical visualization while creating an important space for conversations about the state of the field with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. SAMA also invites members to hone their skills with fellow artists in a welcoming space.

University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Association of Medical Artists (SAMA) is a long-running club originating from the Graduate Department of Biomedical Visualization. It focuses on spreading awareness about all aspects of the biomedical visualization field while creating a space for artists to share and create work together.

About the Biomedical Visualization Graduate Program at UIC: Founded in 1921 by Professor Thomas Smith Jones, the Biomedical Visualization program at the University of Illinois at Chicago is the second oldest accredited school of its kind and one of only five accredited graduate programs in North America providing professional training for careers in the visual communication of life science, medicine, and healthcare. With a renowned faculty and a curriculum that keeps pace with advances in science and technology, UIC’s Biomedical Visualization program attracts graduate students from various disciplines, including medicine, life science, art, sculpture, digital media, and computer science.

About the Contemporary Arts Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.