Art students explore mortality, the body and science with sketching and painting project

Adam Fung likes to challenge his students to rethink their understanding of painting and how it can help them interpret the world. This spring, his students left the confines of the studio to visit the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Center for Anatomical Sciences and Dr. Cara Fisher, who provided a brief introduction to the cadaver lab and answered students’ questions regarding the human body’s vital organs, particularly the heart and brain.

This trip is Fung’s third visit with his students to the lab; two drawing classes participated and now he’s taking his advanced painting class, comprising 13 students. The project capitalizes on TCU and UNTHSC’s longstanding collaboration and desire for innovative learning environments.

“I enjoy projects that engage art with science, and have worked with scientists, architects and educators on several recent art projects of my own,” said Fung. “The interdisciplinary collaborations have proven invaluable to my ability to demonstrate alternate views of nature, and I want my students to have similar experiences.

“Once the students got past their initial uncertainty, they demonstrated an impressive maturity and insightfulness to create beautiful art that depicts the brevity of life.”

The watercolor paintings are on display on the second floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union.

Fung is an assistant professor of art at TCU and teaches studio art classes in painting and drawing in the School of Art.