The monsoon clouds looked like organelles over the Catalinas for the opening evening of Roche Tissue Diagnostics’ most recent art exhibition. In association with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, Roche hosts a quarterly gallery to showcase artworks created by their staff and family members. 

The eighth annual exhibition is a record year for the Roche Ventana Gallery, with 114 pieces of art currently on display. The art covers multiple mediums, including photography, drawing, stoneware, painting, fiber and sculpture.

“It’s definitely an eclectic show,” said Amber Izdepski, with SAACA. “Aside from the more typical art, there are pieces incorporating microscope slides, more abstract pieces and even paintings of how diseases make the artists feel.” 

Among this year’s highlights is a special collection for “PathArt.” PathArt is any art or image related to anatomic pathology, hand-made or photographed through the microscope. Anatomic pathology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the examination of organs and tissues.

While many of the pieces are straight-forward photographs of beautiful scenes in nature or black-and-white urban shots, there are also abstract paintings, sculptures of diseases and impressionistic drawings. 

While some of the more typical photographs were described on their plaques as “Angler in rocky beach foreground sitting contemplating the rising sun, with some distant clouds taking up the color of the rising sun,” others were more scientific and experimental, such as a close-up image of a disease, reading: “Visualizing the enemy: during our journey to answer the hard questions, we encounter moments of awe.” 

“Perhaps scientists just look at art with a more critical view,” Izdepski said. 

While much of the art was by the Roche Tissue Diagnostics employees, a fair portion of the art was made by the employees’ families. The age range of the artists was between 7 to 70 years old.

One featured child’s art depicted a robot that does your chores for you. Some of the featured pieces were even made from LEGOs, clay, stained glass, cell phone photography and wood carvings. 

Many of the pieces are also for sale by the artists, ranging from $30 to upwards of thousands. 

One artwork that particularly caught patrons’ attention was of colored slides from a medical PowerPoint lecture titled “Practical Approaches to Bladder Cancer in the Information Age.” The bright colors, combined with a non-art medium, made the piece look like it would be right at home in Warhol exhibit. 

“The attention to detail that is required for left-brained people also finds its way into art,” Izdepski said. “As a society, we’re taught to think that artistic and scientific people are separate, but I think they jump the gap more than we realize.” 

The exhibition runs from through Oct. 10. The Ventana Gallery is open to the public, by appointment, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call SAACA at 797-3959 ext. 1. Located at Roche Tissue Diagnostics, 1910 E. Innovation Park Dr. Free. For more information visit saaca.org/ventanagallery.

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