Dirt? Scientists, Book Artists, and Poets Reflect on Soil and Our Environment

An interdisciplinary exhibition featuring natural history specimens, artist books and poems selected from an international call for entries.

Exhibition Dates:
August 6, 2015 to December 4, 2015

Thanks to our community and campus partners: Slater Museum of Natural History, Department of English, Catharine Gould Chism Fund for the Humanities and Arts, Department of Art and Art History, Puget Sound Garden Club, The Evergreen State College, Puget Sound Book Artists, and Tacoma Smelter Plume Project - Dirt Alert! of the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department.

Read an interview with Curator Lucia Harrison. 

View a lecture with Lucia Harrison. Lucia describes the impact of art on science curriculum:

Combining Art, Literature & Science from University of Puget Sound on Vimeo.

Listen and watch the Dirt Poetry Reading


Events Calendar

  • Exhibition Opening - September 10, 2015 from 5:30 - 8 p.m.
    Reception will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Curator Lucia Harrison will then give a lecture entitled “Intersections:  How Artists and Scientists Can Collaborate to Create Environmental Awareness” from 7 - 8 p.m.
  • Art/Science Salon - September 17, 2015 from 4:30 -7:30 p.m.
    4:30-6 p.m. Tour the exhibit from 4:30-6 p.m., attend the reception hosted by Peter Wimberger in the Pacific NW Reading Room at 6 p.m., and hear Lucia Harrison (Visual Arts) and Abir Biswas (Geology) from The Evergreen State College discuss "Geology and Art Collaboration" (Lecture from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Room 020).
  • Educator and Student Night - September 24, 2015 from 4 - 6:30 p.m.
    4-5 p.m.: Learn about “Staying Healthy with Polluted Soils” with Walt Burdsall from the Tacoma Smelter Plume Project at 4 p.m., tour the exhibit from 5-6 p.m. and hear a lecture by Lucia Harrison at 6 p.m. on “Combining Art, Literature and Science in the Classroom” (Rm 020)
  • Family Reading Hour – October 3, 2015 from 10 - 11 a.m. (Pacific NW Rocking Chair Room)
    Join students from Puget Sound as they read books about soil and the environment in our wonderful Rocking Chair Room in Collins Library. Tour the DIRT? exhibit and then go downstairs to Room 020 for an introduction to painting with soil (all children must be supervised while painting)
  • Earth Pigments: Hands-On Activity - October 3, 2015 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m
    Make acrylic, egg tempera, and watercolor with soil pigments with Curator Lucia Harrison.
  • Dirt? Poets Reflect on Soils and the Environment - October 15, 2015 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    A Poetry Reading with Regional Poets featured in the Dirt? Exhibition. A celebration in conjunction with Tacoma Arts Month (Location: 2nd Floor Archives Lecture Space)

All events are open to the public and will take place in Collins Library with building locations noted. Ask at the Circulation Desk on event nights for directions.

Learn more about DIRT with our research guide.