Tompkins-McCaw Library Gallery
The Tompkins-McCaw Library gallery features original exhibits of visual art pertaining to the health sciences or created by students or professionals in health-sciences fields. Incorporated into the main first-floor study and browsing area, the gallery is intended to foster dialogue among patrons about the interplay of science, creativity and beauty.
Current and Upcoming Exhibits
Rob Sabatini applies the same pursuit of knowledge, attention to detail and excellence in technique to his profession of periodontics as he does to his avocation—wildlife photography. A boyhood love of the outdoors and an early interest in amateur photography have grown into a passion of adulthood. In 2009, he learned of a rookery of great blue herons on the James River in downtown Richmond. He hit the river with his first camera and an old 100-300mm lens and discovered a creative outlet that has taken him into the plains of East Africa, the river banks of the Amazon Basin, to U.S. national parks and his own backyard in search of images of glorious wildlife. The images in this exhibit were chosen to highlight some of Rob’s favorites over the past three years, with selections that highlight subjects from both travel expeditions and more local venues. The 2015 exhibition at Tompkins-McCaw is his first.
Nickolai Walko, a graduate of the VCU School of the Arts, has developed a unique and eye-catching form of image-making that hybridizes classical drawing and pop art. After placing a layer of black masking tape on a brightly colored panel or wall, covering the surface from edge to edge, he draws elaborate designs, often anatomical, directly on the tape and then, using an X-Acto blade, meticulously cuts out sections of the tape to create a strong-contrast image. Finally, to prevent tape decay, he sprays the work with a polyurethane coating. Given his anatomical subjects, Walko appropriately likens his elaborate process to a medical operation, with the tape serving as skin and the removing of the tape representing the exposed anatomy. At this show at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, he showcases his anatomical creations, some of which have been inspired by materials from the library collection.
In January and February of 2014, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences invited submissions of microscopic images from VCU students, faculty and staff. More than 40 images were submitted for consideration, and 24 are featured in the exhibit held in the library's gallery. Images were analyzed and scored by Scott Henderson, Lara Mabry, Rene Olivares-Navarrete and Ning Zhang on the basis of aesthetic appeal, technical skill and scientific significance. Anders Hånell, Ryan Clohessy and Gireesh Reddy are recipients of prizes and best-in-show honors.