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The Department of Biological Systems Engineering may sound like an unusual host for a visiting artist, but Peter Krsko, the university’s Spring 2017 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence, makes for a good fit.

Krsko is a bioinspired artist who combines science and art, drawing inspiration from processes as simple as dripping water and translates these into sculptures and other works of art. His approach involves participatory, interactive and community arts, and promotes play with hands-on education.

Krsko’s art installation in Birge Hall.

In that way, Krsko’s work embodies the Wisconsin Idea, notes BSE professor Sundaram Gunasekaran, lead faculty host for Krsko’s residency.

“Peter’s artwork offers an original approach to establish and develop new collaborations within and outside the university,” says Gunasekaran.

A number of events will be held throughout March to celebrate Krsko’s work. The first is a free artist talk at the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Colloquium on March 1 at 4:30 p.m. in L160 Elvehjem. All events are free and open to the public. Visit artsinstitute.wisc.edu/iarp/krsko/events for more information.

His work can be seen in a couple of campus locations. He recently completed a site-specific installation in Birge Hall, which will stay up through the end of the semester. There is also a Krsko installation exploring the geometry of the boundaries between flexible cells in space in the Discovery Building, through May 8.

As part of his residency, Krsko is leading a hands-on, interdisciplinary course co-listed as BSE 375, titled “Zoethica: Bioinspired Art and Science.” The class asks students to interpret the natural world around them using modern instruments, as well as solicits their input on Krsko’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math)-based curriculum.

Some background about Krsko: Since earning his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Materials Science from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 2006, Krsko has embarked on a career marked by interpretive design artwork. After graduating from SIT, Krsko was awarded a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he first explored the relationship between artistic expression and the sciences. His portfolio includes numerous works on display for the public, and his clients include the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Department of State, and the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, among others.

Co-sponsors of Krsko’s visit include the Departments of Art, Design Studies and Physics.

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