Art and science are usually considered mutually exclusive disciplines but Rebecca Kamen has the unique ability to bridge art and science in a way that allows people to look at typical science and technology in an innovative way. Recently, Kamen presented her work to the students of The Bridge Academy, a non-profit independent school in Lawrenceville for students with language-based learning disabilities, in a school-wide assembly.
Hearing her personal story was an inspiration to the students. The celebrated artist and scientist spoke about the intersection of the two fields and how her struggles with dyslexia have influenced her career. As a child she dreamed of being a scientist, but dyslexia prevented her from pursing a traditional scientific career path. Combining her love of science with her art has given her the ability to bridge the gap between the two fields and skillfully blend the two together.
“The assembly was a great way for our students to not only experience her art, but to also to learn there are many opportunities available for a person with dyslexia,” explained the school’s Principal Susan Morris. “Our students learned how Rebecca didn’t let her disability discourage her from completing her lifelong goal of being a scientist – it just altered her path.”
Growing up with dyslexia, Kamen never thought she had a disability. “I just assumed everyone learned the same way I did,” she explained to the students of The Bridge Academy. “My parents were very supportive and always told me to reach for the stars.”
And reach for the stars she did! Kamen has combined elements of space and the mechanics of neurons with art to create dramatic displays. “What appeared to be a learning obstacle at a young age turned into an incredible opportunity in terms of providing a new lens for seeing,” Kamen explained. “It has empowered me to see new relationships in the world around me, which has informed and inspired my work as an artist.”
Rebecca Kamen has exhibited and lectured both nationally and internationally. She has been the recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, a Pollack Krasner Foundation Fellowship, two Strauss Fellowships and a Travel Grant from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. An artist in residence in the neuroscience program at National Institutes of Health, Kamen has interpreted and transformed neuroscience research into sculptural form. Her artwork is represented in many private and public collections.
The Bridge Academy is a non-profit independent school in Lawrenceville, NJ for students (ages 8 – 18) with language-based learning disabilities, like dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and ADHD. This school offers its students opportunities which help bridge the gap between potential and performance. Its teachers, which are all Orton-Gillingham certified, strive to empower students through interactive experiences by utilizing their strengths and strengthening their weaknesses. For more information on The Bridge Academy, please call 609-844-0770 or visit our web site www.banj.org.