Baskin Attends Professional Meeting of Scientific Illustrators

August 19, 2011 Donna Whitlock

Vanessa Baskin, a Scientific Illustration major in the Honors Program, was one of two Arcadia students who joined Professor Scott Rawlins at the professional meeting of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, which was held at Evergreen State University in Olympia, Wash., this summer. She was a delegate taking part in various workshop sessions at the conference.

Baskin’s interest in art and scientific illustration started at a young age. “All my life I’ve had an interest in anatomy and the natural world, but I also had the inclination to draw and create,” says Baskin. “Growing up in a somewhat remote area in the Philippines, I was always exposed to the wilderness, especially tropical reefs. Our home also doubled as a studio and wildlife sanctuary. But going to educational institutions taught me to think that art and science were two very separate, unrelated things. In college, I began as a Fine Art/Illustration major but found myself unsatisfied with what I found to be a lack of aesthetic structure in current art forms.”

“The following summer I began to work for the Carex Research project throughout the New Jersey Coast, where I spent a lot of time collecting data outdoors and analyzing it in the lab. This rekindled my interest in science and ecology. When I transferred to Arcadia as a Scientific Illustration major I am now able to do what I was always meant to do and love.”

Baskin attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County, N.J., before transferring to Arcadia University. She plans to study abroad before graduating.

“I was especially delighted Arcadia helped to sponsor my students’ attendance at the conference,” Rawlins says. “I will model this as a model for other institutions to follow.” Rawlins also was elected President of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators at the meeting in Olympia.

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