From the perspective of a Cherokee and European American artist, Emily Arthur explored the impact on natural environment due to humane activity in the exhibition Endangered. A series of printmaking pieces told the stories of how environmental changing affected the native species such as songbirds, deer, and butterflies in the United States.
Collaborating with Moore Laboratory of Zoology in Occidental College, Los Angeles, the works in Endangered were mostly based on scientific results. Arthur used different diagrams of the data like species distribution as the background of her works. She focused on the movement across geographic landscapes and we could see some works contained the animal migration patterns with sky map. Besides the printmaking pieces, the exhibition also had a small section introducing a threatened species Coastal California Gnatcatcher and displaying its specimens. This bird species has become endangered because of the habitat destruction for urban development and is currently under conservation.
I liked the way Arthur drew songbirds and butterflies in the pose as the specimens, which emphasized the idea of being endangered. As a biology major who is interested in bringing science into art, her works had shown me more possible way to combine these two subjects. Science discovered the fact in nature, and art expressed our thought of nature. Without science, we could be ignorant of the world we lived, but without art it would be challenging to express our appreciations to nature. Art and biology are not simply the distinct disciplines but are the two strong approaches for us to understand the Earth.