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Art meets science: “Macroscope” unveiled 

MOORHEAD — A new piece of art has been installed in the Integrated Science Center, ISC, made by fifth year art and neuroscience major, Ian Scheele. “Macroscope” is a piece that has been in the works for over two years, Scheele said  

Although Scheele designed the piece, the idea of the installation in the ISC atrium belongs to Professor Dwight Mickelson , according to Scheele.  

“(Mickelson) said it’s just such a giant empty space and he’d always thought about putting some work in there and that, that got the wheels turning.” Scheele said.  

“Macroscope” is a five-piece, mixed-media exhibition that is inspired by viewing diatoms under a microscope. 

“Macroscope” is on display in ISC.
Contributed / Ian Scheele

In class, we had a bunch of assignments in neuroscience that required us to capture image microscopy images of specific tissues. It’s like all these different shapes, forms, textures, and colors. This is just from one place we look at the world, we look at the history of microscopy of, of looking through a microscope. We have even more to look at. This actually is a specific organism (a diatom) that type of organism that was specifically the start of the whole project.”  

Though Scheele pulled inspiration from diatoms, he wanted this piece to resonate with all students.  

“My goal was for everybody who works and studies in the science center or even is just on campus can pass through this building and look up at this work and feel like they know something about it or that it’s something familiar to them. As I was replicating them, I started realizing how ubiquitous these shapes are because people would come up to me and everyone is so sure of whatever it is. They’ll ask me, oh, so which molecule did you base this off? Did you base this off this virus or this bacteria? And I wasn’t but, but the fact that everyone was coming to me so confidently with their own individual things, I was so excited about that,” Scheele said.  

Originally from North Branch, Minnesota, Scheele said he grew up around clay and ceramics.  

Ian Scheele sets up “Macroscope” in ISC.
Contributed / Ian Scheele

“I come from a part of the state that just does a lot of ceramics. So, it’s been something I’ve kind of grown up around and, and just kind of steeped in. We’ve got a big, big vein of natural clay in my hometown. so, five feet under the ground at my parents’ house is all the clay I could ever use.” 

Scheele has had his art displayed at The Rourke in Moorhead, the Fine Arts Gallery at the Minnesota State Fair and a few shows in the Twin Cities area, he said. “Macroscope is the first piece that Scheele has designed specifically for a space.  

Those interested in viewing “Macroscope” can visit the main lobby of ISC.  

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