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4 Week | Bio Art: Artmaking with Nature

*Price includes a $30 studio fee for most materials that will be provided by the teacher. Students will purchase some of their own materials and should expect to spend $10-30.

Class Description:

This 4-week class combines art history and experimentation to explore the emerging movement of Bio Art. Rooted in environmental concerns and science, Bio Art can range from working with natural materials to manipulating DNA. Students will be introduced to “Agar Art” which involves cultivating bacteria, to working with foraged and harvested materials from nature, and will be encouraged to explore mediums through a conceptual and research-based lens. Participants will learn new ways to look at art, represented in the DAM’s collection by artists like Ernesto Neto and Karen Kitchel.

No prior technical knowledge or specific experience is required, though a sense of curiosity and willingness to experiment will be richly rewarded. Students will experiment with a new material each week, that may culminate in a finished artwork. The DAM’s Sensory Garden will be a focal point, and each class will feature a lecture along with hands-on experimentation and artmaking.

What to Expect:

Each class will begin with an introduction to a material or way of making with a brief lecture meant to inspire and inform. Then students will be invited to explore that week's materials, with time saved at the end to share our work. Experimentation is greatly encouraged. This is a class with no real rules except for safety.


Week 1: Lecture on “what is bio art?” with a focus on agar and bacterial art. We will make collages with Ernst Haeckel images, and “draw” on agar plates with swabs to cultivate bacteria for use in week two.

Week 2: After a lecture on bacteria art, students will use their phones and small microscopes to create images with the bacteria they cultured the week before.

Week 3: After our inspirational lecture on materials, we will explore the sensory garden and learn about its creation, gently gathering deadheads, seeds and materials to use in our work. This class focuses on "nature shopping" - looking at the materials that we can forage from the wild and ways to use them.

Week 4: After an inspirational slide show of artists working with mushrooms, we will use spore prints that I have collected to create collages and drawings utilizing the prints themselves. A demonstration of taking a spore print will be included, along with a short introduction to Colorado's mushrooms and where to find them.

Class Cancellation Policy:

If a class or workshop needs to be cancelled due to inclement weather or teacher illness, a “make-up” day will be scheduled on a FRIDAY or SATURDAY as the educator’s schedule allows.


*Price includes a $30 studio fee for most materials that will be provided by the teacher. Students will purchase some of their own materials and should expect to spend $10-30.

A materials list will be provided to all students at least 4 weeks prior to the start of this class. All organic materials need to arrive to classroom in sealed containers or bags. Please plan accordingly.


Lauri Lynnxe Murphy is a bio artist, sculptor, curator and writer living in Denver, Colorado. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University on University Fellowship in 2012 and has spent her life building community and DIY gallery spaces and advocating for artists alongside her own robust studio practice. Her work is research-driven and science-based, and focuses on insect extinction, mutation, climate change and biophilia. Much of her work is made by collaborating with endangered species and the systems they employ, such as building sculptures with bees or making drawings with snails.

Tuesday, August 06, 2024 - 5:30 PM - 11 Remaining
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