Pictures of the quilts from SfN14

I have put all pictures of the quilts I had at SfN14 into a Picasa Gallery which you can also find in the Quilt Galleries link at the top of the page.  Many of these are still available, so please ask if you are interested! If you did not make it to the convention, many of these were not posted here before.

The only quilt which did not make it into this gallery (yet) is Synaptic Coral, which I’m including as thumbnail in this post.


And please, if you have thoughts from SfN14 or neuroscience related thoughts or links you want to share, let me know. I love to talk about this stuff!

Scattered thoughts about SfN14 a few days later

First of all, if you are thinking you missed the opportunity to obtain one of the art quilts I brought to SfN14, please contact me. It probably isn’t too late 😀

Between the dishes, laundry, and errands that had stacked up, I’ve been pondering what to say post-conference. I feel like the last post really captured the highlights. I am not sure I have much more to add. I loved being at the conference.

I had concerns about how the family would function without me as infrastructure for six days. That part mostly went ok, although things piled up at the end (in the house). I had fears I wouldn’t fit in (they were unfounded).

Creativity-wise I’m now thinking about layers. I had been mulling concepts of folded fabric. Still thinking about that. Layers fits with my “hidden” theme too. Nice to have that teased out.

I now realize I didn’t write about the conversation I had with Hugo Spiers. He’s got me thinking about memory and location. I feel like this field is so rich, ready for mining with the metaphors. The part of the brain that holds memories is the same part that tells us where we are located in space. Without memories, we cannot locate ourselves. Wow. That blows my mind.

Most terrifying moment? During set-up when someone working in the building stepped on two of the quilts. Agh. Luckily she didn’t damage or mark them. Oddest conversation? The man who talked around an idea that he couldn’t tell me about (because it was too obvious and I would run off and do it (probably not true, but that’s what he told me)) and it turned out he wanted someone to draw an image. When I told him I couldn’t draw, but I could manipulate fabric, he didn’t seem to know what to do with that information.

It was amazing to sit next to Megan McGlynn. She’s brilliant and her work is impeccable. We had a lot of fun sharing inspirations. I did not get to spend nearly as much time with any of the other artists and wished that we could have had our own private party.

My one sadness? Chicago next year is probably not feasible. I had so much support for this convention which was nothing less than amazing, but I wouldn’t have most of that somewhere else. Of course, one never knows what the future holds! And ultimately, the conversations will continue beyond the bounds of SfN14, thanks to social media!

Would love to hear your thoughts about the conference. What struck you? Please comment here or on Twitter.

Report from the trenches of SfN14

I am having an amazing time at the Annual Society for Neuroscience Convention. As one of six artists exhibiting this year, I feel enormously privileged and I’m thoroughly enjoying chatting with everyone there about brains and beauty.

I am trying take some notes about things that have particularly captivated me. Here is what I’ve collected so far:

Someone suggested making a series of quilts that changed as you went into a house/building with the theme of evolution. I thought that doing a series from the microscopic to the astronomic would be pretty exciting. Oooh, in that case, the size of the quilt could even change. Anyone want to commission me to do that? 😀


Had an interesting chat with Fiadhiglas from twitter about her flavor of synasthesia. She was telling me how different colors evoke different emotions for her (if I understand correctly). It got me thinking about the effect colors have on moods.  Still thinking about it.


Talked to the people about neuroscience outreach. They do enrichment classes for at-risk youth and incorporate art into the curriculum. Nothing short of brilliant.


arco_iris56 stopped by my booth today and later tweeted this incredible brain print picture that made me think of thumbprints and now my brain is all happy and fizzy.

  Met a man with a tattoo of a neuron he’d imaged on his forearm (incredibly gorgeous tattoo) and also has purkinjee neurons on the back of his neck (see this tweet).

Finally, two of the official bloggers are interviewing the artists and here are there interviews with me.

Katiesci’s (from twitter) writeup is here.  Shelly Fan, also from Twitter, posted my interview here.

And now I’m falling asleep. Until tomorrow!

Another synapse quilt and a blood brain barrier too!

I have neglected to announce here that I will be in the Art of Neuroscience Exhibit at the annual Neuroscience Convention in Washington, DC from Nov 15-19.  Greg DunnLia Cook, Megan McGlynnMichele Banks, and Kathleen Childress will also be there. There are two sessions open to the public, the first is on Saturday, the 15th, from 11 am to 1 pm and the second is Tues, Nov 18 from 3-5pm (I believe).

One of the things I love about creating art in the neuroscience field is how wide open it is.  I can choose any number of things to focus on, from experimental subjects (like jellyfish and octopuses) to data (as in the action potential graph I did) down to the matter on a microscopic level.  These two quilts were inspired by images that were taken under a microscope. If the green one looks familiar, it should. It was inspired by the same image that I used for the black and white synapses.  The second picture is my rendition of a blood brain barrier inspired by this image by Ben Brahim Mohammed.

If you are looking for more pictures, I have posted a bunch on Twitter. (note that not quite all the pictures/videos here are my quilts, but most of them are.) Please feel free to ask me questions!