Jessica Levine

Artistic Flint & Steel: Sparking Cross-disciplinary Combustion
Type of work
Visual Arts
West Virginia

Faculty Partner: Jordan Karubian, Professor, and Renata Ribeiro, Professor of the Practice, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University

Jessica Levine, in collaboration with Renata Ribeiro and Jordan Karubian, created an interactive, mixed media visual art installation to bring the study titled “Does lead in New Orleans have mockingbirds singing the blues?” to public attention. The installation was designed as an impromptu art spectacle within a 10 x 10 foot pop-up tent, staged where people gather: festivals, parks, farmers markets, schools and universities. The installation enrolled city dwellers in citizen science as it engaged the viewer and celebrated the mockingbird as a beloved New Orleans icon of resilience, musicality, and thriving urban nature.

Jessica Levine inhabits a niche as a multidisciplinary environmental artist, making interactive, kinetic sculptural installations that engage by delight, as they deliver science content. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and has completed many community-engaged projects in West Virginia, where she currently lives, and afar, including the Virgin Islands, Haiti and Ecuador.

“I am enlivened at the prospect of creating an art installation that is integrated with a scientific study and has important resonance with a pressing public health issue in New Orleans.” – Jessica Levine

“There is a certain synergy that occurs when art and science comes together.  In the best of cases, it helps practitioners in both fields, as well as the general public, to view the world through a new lens and to gain novel insights into relationships and possibilities.” – Jordan Karubian