A Thriving Science Illustration Internship at the Cornell Lab
January 15, 2012
Birds have long inspired artists, and the walls of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are graced by the works of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, George M. Sutton, Charley Harper, Roger Tory Peterson, and others. In the last decade, those classic works have been joined by paintings produced here at the Cornell Lab, by artists working in an extraordinarily productive partnership, the Bartels Science Illustration Internship program.
The rotating internships allow illustrators who are just starting their careers to build their skills and portfolios by working on projects that help the Lab achieve its mission. The artists are so skilled, and the projects so focused, that interns’ projects often end up being published. In return, the Cornell Lab gains exquisite illustrations tailor-made for our needs.
We do not teach our interns how to draw birds, but instead offer the opportunity to collaborate with scientists, designers, and writers to create working art. Interns work in the Lab’s staff lounge and have access to the many resources at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and the Cornell University library system. They can study prepared specimens, make daily contact with world-renowned scientists, and surround themselves daily with our bird art. Increasingly their work hangs alongside the masterworks on our walls.
Since 2007, the Cornell Lab has welcomed as many as three Bartels science illustration interns each year. Their art brings to life our educational and outreach materials, videos, and scientific work—if you are a member of a citizen-science project or a regular reader of BirdScope, chances are you’ve seen their work before.
The examples on the poster trace the development of the internship program. To learn more about Bartels Science Illustration Internships, please visit www.birds.cornell.edu/artinterns or contact design director Diane Tessaglia-Hymes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of BirdScope.