Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
Oil painting by OSU student Briley Parsons.

Student art exhibition combines oil painting and microscopic imagery

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

Students enrolled in Oklahoma State University’s Oil Painting I and Oil Painting for Non-Majors courses are displaying their work in the exhibition “Moments Magnified” at the OSU Research Park starting March 7.

“Moments Magnified” includes 12 oil paintings inspired by microscopic imagery captured using the scanning electron microscope at OSU’s microscopy facility. Students enrolled in the courses chose objects to view with the SEM at the beginning of the semester. Then, after receiving training on the machine, they captured images to inspire their oil paintings.

“The students always amaze me with their ability to transform this raw scientific visual data into beautiful paintings with fascinating concepts,” said Liz Roth, professor in the Department of Art, Graphic Design and Art History. “I especially love that they use their artistic skills to combine their academic classwork with these scientific images.”

Included in the exhibition are pieces like art major Mia Baker’s kitchen sink dishwashing scene based on magnified images of a sponge; Sam Hale’s modern retelling of the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish using microscopic images of lace; and sociology major Maggie Jones' painting depicting food insecurity that combines her microscopic studies of stems and pinecones with paintings of rotting fruits and vegetables.

Art major Lauren Oyer, whose painting “Coffee Beans” is part of the exhibition, explained that the opportunity to work with the SEM has expanded her interests and opened to possibilities for her work.  

“Being able to look at textures and forms that are only possible under extreme magnification has influenced me to continue my research into a more geological narrative,” Oyer said. “I now am creating a series of paintings using magnified rock samples, or ‘thin sections.’”

When evaluating the educational outcomes of this project, Roth saw the opportunity to create a unique intersection of the arts and sciences.

“OSU has so many amazing resources in the sciences, and it’s good to introduce students to this wealth of resources,” Roth said. “Looking at objects under the SEM gives students new ways of thinking about what’s meaningful. When students are intellectually and emotionally invested in their ideas, they can start the process of making beautiful and meaningful art.”

“Moments Magnified” opens March 7 and will be on view through April 5 at the OSU Microcopy Facility at OSU Research Park, 1110 S. Innovation Way, Stillwater. A reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. on March 7 at the facility.

Story By: Erin Weaver | CAS Communications Coordinator |

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.