Bacterial Portraiture—Painting day

The BioLab led its first Bacteriart workshop of the year yesterday. Inspired by our Jonas Salk bacterial portraits that we created with TAG’s Jess Marcotte this summer and based on a workshop developed by WhiteFeather Hunter—as well as research done by our homegrown research-creation team: The Bactinctorium—the lab decided to explore the use of the pigment producing bacteria Serratia marcences for petri dish portraiture.

In this two-part workshop, participants will learn the basics of aseptic technique, will become familiar with how to culture bacteria in a lab—including how to create liquid cultures and streak agar plates—and will learn how to work with liquid Serratia as a living artistic medium (paint brushes et al).

Participants were invited to bring their own images to base their petri portraits on and could work with brushes or inoculation loops. Free-hand painting was also encouraged for those who like the mystery of working with growing ~*invisible*~ ink (the liquid Serratia is nearly invisible when applied to the petri dish, which is why it can be helpful to have an image to work with).

Wednesday, we’ll check out the results and see if everything grew as expected or if we get any surprising results! During the second workshop, everyone will have the option to print their images on silk to take home.

Check back for the results!

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