Ceramicist Kiley Snider is inspired by nature and organic forms. A recent graduate of Arizona State University, she jumped on the opportunity to collaborate with scientists during her senior year as part of the “Art and Science” course taught by Susan Beiner and Robby Roberson. Student artists, including Snider, worked with scientists to provoke new perspectives on the world. The class culminated in a group exhibition of student work.
Snider writes of her experience, “When I saw the scanning electron microscope images of the oleander leaf,” which can be extremely toxic, “the stomas of the leaf had hundreds of wavy, finger-like protrusions, which ended up inspiring my design. These ‘fingers’ appeared very sinister to me and reminded me just how dangerous this beautiful plant could be…. It made me think of what kind of damage an entire bush could do. At the time, I imagined it similar to the spreading of COVID-19 in just how widespread the effects could be. I think it was my ruminating over the comparison that led me to Contagion.”