Podcast Interview with "Journaling with Nature"
Hear Amy’s stories about being raised in a creationist household then becoming a science educator, ways she's combined art and science in her professional life, and more.
Interview about Amy's career--a science-art mashup
STEAM Artist Spotlight by Chronicles of the Curious.
Interviewer: You’re clear about your desire to inspire scientific curiosity in others. Can you share a bit about what has shaped that passion?
Amy Schleser: I think I love sharing science with other people, especially kids, because I didn’t personally care much for science growing up. My parents and teachers framed science as something to be very suspicious of. I was raised by Creationists, a religious community that doesn’t believe in evolution, among other things.
Art Workshops on "Doodling Diagrams"
Taught 1 1/2 hour workshops on how to create and conceptualize diagrams in nature journals. Approximately 2,000 people virtually participated in the workshop at Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference in 2021. It was one of the most attended classes at the conference. Pre-COVID, workshops were taught in-person at eight locations around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Image drawn by Mark Simmons, depicting Amy teaching.
Interviewed by Examiner on a 2011 Solo Exhibition
Interviewed by Dan Godston from examiner.com about Amy Schleser's solo exhibition "Art is Hard!" at Gallery X at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Excerpts:
DG: How did you get the idea for your recent exhibition "Art Is Hard!"?
AS: “Art Is Hard!” investigates arts integration with math and science in a mock-classroom setting. When art is (mistakenly) characterized solely as a time for fun, it can be difficult to justify the presence of art education in schools. Science and math classes on the other hand, are often seen as too hard, and teachers struggle to make them relevant and interesting for students. “Art is Hard!” explores the artist’s emotional relationship to math, and questions whether the process of making art is parallel to the process of inquiry in science.
In a way, “Art is Hard!” was my first solo show (as all of the pieces were initially developed, actualized, and installed by me). Yet many of my pieces are altered through participation from kindergarteners, high schoolers, and the audiences who visit my exhibition space. My art is rarely a solo venture; there’s something so exciting about putting art out there for others to pick up, alter, and enhance.
Dan Godston: How did you come up with the idea of juxtaposing math and art [within a "pop quiz"] performance art angle?
Amy Schleser": While I was developing “Pop Quiz: Trigonometry," I observed many of my college classmates resisting the idea that they were required to take any math and science courses at an art college, period. Math and I have had our ups and downs, true, but overall I love it – is that unusual for an artist? I began to consider the artist’s relationship to mathematics. Are artists particularly susceptible to hating math? And if we hate math, is it our fault, or is the school system partially to blame? I took these ideas and typed them up as a multiple-choice and short-answer exam. “Pop Quiz: Trigonometry” does not test for knowledge of trigonometric functions, rather it examines how artists feel about trigonometry. There are no right or wrong answers.
Science Zine Contest Award
Recognized by Year of Science 2009's zine competition promoting informal science education. Winner in the category of understanding the nature and process of science
"Mini-magaZINE[s] combined science and art to tell a compact story about science. The judges were three faculty members of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and three scientists from The Field Museum in Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley."
Recipient of AAM's Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Award 2014
Bunky Echo-Hawk's solo exhibition featured labels based on interviews with Bunky--they were ghostwritten by museum exhibitions staff, though and edited approved by Bunky himself. This scary and emotional story was ghostwritten by Amy Schleser and received AAM's (the American Alliance of Museums) Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Award in 2014.
Jurur in AAM's Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing 2015 competition
Juror Biography for AAM's Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition. Amy acted as a juror on the 2015 competition after being recognized in the 2014 competition for her writing.
Chicago Tribune interview about museum exhibition
Interviewed by Web Behrens from The Chicago Tribune about "The Machine Inside: Biomechanics" science exhibition.