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A-List: Insects: A Collection in Multiple Dimensions

Insects: A Collection in Multiple Dimensions
By Kevin Chamberlain
Old Capitol Museum
Open May through July | FREE

We’ve all been to museums featuring bug collections, but the current exhibit in the Old Capital Museum takes the idea a step further. University of Iowa graduate student, Kevin Chamberlain is a third-year MFA candidate with a focus in museum studies and has dusted off the UI Museum of Natural History’s 100 year-old insect collection to create a multimedia educational display. Chamberlain’s exhibit employs cutting edge techniques in photography, 3-D scanning, rapid prototyping, plaster molds and ceramics. Through image stacking, he was able to take ten photographs of each insect and create a final piece using the sharpest points of each image. These photographs are placed next to the actual specimen.

To get the community involved, Chamberlain designed and created 34 large-scale models of beetles which were subsequently decorated by preschoolers at Preucil School of Music. The painted bugs are also included in the display. Chamberlain says, “As Obermann Fellows, we talk about public engagement. Public engagement is a really beautiful thing for the arts, sciences and this university.”

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