The collaboration between Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences Samantha Joye and artist Rebeca Rutstein, the university’s third Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding, took center stage at the recent A2RU conference. In conversation with Willson Center director and Franklin Professor Nicholas Allen, they shared how they are working together to shine light on literal darkness during a lecture titled “Expeditions, Experiments and the Ocean: Arts and Sciences at Sea:”
Their collaboration began when they met at a National Academies workshop just a year ago. Their conversations about how art can convey the beauty of the deep sea sparked a collaboration.
For both of them, it was an elective class that changed their paths. Joye was studying to be a doctor and took a marine sciences class that helped her realize that while she loved medicine, she could do just as much to help people while studying the ocean. Rutstein, who majored in art, took an interest in geology after taking an elective in the subject and began incorporating geological themes into her pieces.
“It sparked a passion in me to shed light on these places and processes that are hidden from view through creating art,” Rutstein said.
The intuitive paths of great scholars continue to inform their work, as collaborations introduce new directions and ways of thinking. The arts and sciences as mutually reinforcing recalls the grand traditions of the 'passions humaines' at the very birth of the academy. Joye and Rutstein are an important part of that continuum.