Daily Bytes | Happenings

Your Brain on Art at The Leo

The Leonardo is known for bringing art and science together, so when Margaret Tarampi, a student at the University of Utah (U of U) working toward her Ph.D. in psychology, wanted to bring one of her classroom practices to a larger audience The Leonardo was a perfect fit.

Margaret Tarampi, PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Utah.

Margaret Tarampi, PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Utah.

Tarampi, who has a background in architecture and is an artist in her own right, has been teaching a class at the U of U that explores the relationships between psychology and art. She frequently invited artists to speak to her class and discuss their approach to similar topics. “My class is based on the premise that both psychology and art are both trying to understand the human condition,” Tarampi says. At loveDANCEmore’s Mudson last week, she presented a dance performance with Emily Haygeman that investigated the connection between the two. Because she wants the general public to also be able to explore this connection, she also approached the Leonardo about hosting a lecture series. When they agreed to the partnership, “This is Your Brain on Art” was born.

On Thursday, March 28 a panel of psychologists and artists will be participating in, “This is Your Brain on Art – Cognitive Psychology and Art.” Cognitive psychology is the study of perception, memory, and problem solving. Panelists will be discussing how their work, be it art or psychology, approaches these topics. “For me, talking across disciplines is helpful in my own work, conceptually, but in practice it allows us to ask more interesting questions when we can see and understand different perspectives on the same topic,” Tarampi says.

Phoneme by Julie Dunker, courtesy Dunkerimaging.

Phoneme by Julie Dunker, courtesy Dunkerimaging.

For example, local artist and panelist Julie Dunker explains how her work relates to cognitive psychology, “I am interested in how language and sound is processed in the mind.  I document language and think about not only the physical affects of language processing — but also how meaning is created from phonemes, grammar, etc. I enjoy taking language as a whole and investigating the systems that make it understandable but are not generally considered in every day conversations.”

Panelists for the March 28 event include the following people:

  • Russell Costa, Ph.D. (Neuroscientist, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience and Honors, Westminster College)
  • Sarah Creem-Regehr, Ph.D. (Cognitive Psychologist, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, U of U)
  • Hikmet Loe (Art Historian, Adjunct Professor, School of Arts and Sciences, Westminster College)
  • Julie Dunker (Artist)

The panel discussion begins at 6pm in the Leonardo Auditorium and lasts approximately one hour, including time for questions from the audience. Another lecture in the series will be held on Thursday, April 4. Both events are free. For additional information, click here.

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