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ECU sponsors art exhibit inspired by Darwin

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Feb. 3, 2009)   —   Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theory have inspired an art exhibit co-sponsored by East Carolina University’s Department of Biology and the Emerge Gallery and Art Center in Greenville.

The Darwin Day Art Celebration features paintings, photography, sculptures, mixed media and other works by faculty members, students and area artists. It is part of the ECU Biology Department’s commemoration of Darwin’s 200th birthday.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Friday, Feb. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Emerge Gallery, 404 S. Evans Street. The display continues through Feb. 21.

“There has long been a connection between art and science,” said John Stiller, professor of biology and exhibit coordinator. “Art is often an expression of the natural world, an expression of the beauty and the wonder that people have towards nature.”

Darwin, the scientist best known for developing the theory of evolution by natural selection, was an artist in his own right. He used drawings, in the absence of photography, to depict the world around him.

Stiller said the art exhibit sheds light on how others view Darwin’s findings and their implications for society. “As biological educators, we need to interact with a cross-section of society to come to a better understanding of what the world thinks of Darwin,” he said.

Vicky Fanberg, exhibitions and events coordinator for Emerge, said the gallery is pleased to host the exhibit. “We take it as a nice opportunity to interact with the community and the university,” she said.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

The celebration of Charles Darwin continues at ECU on Feb. 12.

From 4 to 6 p.m., ECU biology faculty members will offer workshops to elementary, middle and high school teachers on the topic of how to teach evolution in the classroom.

Tours of the Howell Science Complex on the ECU campus will begin at 6 p.m., outside room B103. Participants will see and learn about spiders, fish embryos, bird behavior, exotic greenhouse plants, biotechnology and more.

At 7:30 p.m., in B103 Howell Science Complex, Biologist Jason Bond will present “Spiders, Biodiversity and the Future of Life,” focusing on biology, the biodiversity crisis and the links between biodiversity and human welfare.

Events are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the Department of Biology at 252-328-6718 or


Contact: John Stiller | 252-328-2738