Art Meets Science

Former student paints watercolor for teacher’s classroom

Photo+credit+Taryn+Holmes

Photo credit Taryn Holmes

Nathan Martin, Assistant Editor

Regardless of background, art always holds the ability to bring people together. Exactly this happened between science teacher Christine Carreno and former DHS student Katelynn Cimini. Carreno asked Cimini to make her a piece for the classroom, and this brought the alumned art student back to her roots.

“I’m friends with her on Facebook, she had posted that she graduated from college in art, and she posted pictures of her paintings on Facebook,” Carreno said. “I messaged her on Facebook asking if she’d paint one for my classroom that is science or biology related.” 

Cimini accepted, and Carreno actually connected with Cimini’s work because they reminded her of her mother, who practices watercolor painting herself.

“I love to follow former students and see what they’re doing,” Carreno said. “She’s really good at watercolor and my mom does some watercolor, and so I saw the beautiful things she was making and was like ‘Please, please, please!’”

The painting’s delivery took place on Tuesday, February 4. Behind the watercolors hides a deeper scientific meaning.

“It was really nice to see Mrs. Carreno again,” Cimini said. “I had her for Chemistry sophomore year and AP Biology my senior year. Really, I just loved science and she was an amazing science teacher. I think her class taught me to critically think and pay attention to nature. There is still so much we are learning, and have yet to learn. Nature has a way of building on itself, which I think is just awesome.”

Cimini remained excited throughout the process of getting her work into a classroom, and she thought of it as a perfect opportunity to raise awareness for something she cares about deeply.

“The painting has bees on it, and this species is becoming reduced in number,” Carreno said. “The painting also has a mushroom cap. Kaitlynn was telling me that people are using the mycelium of the mushrooms to feed the bees, which is bringing back and actually helping the population of the bees.”

This method of bringing back bee populations actually came as a surprise to Carreno, showing that knowledge remains a two way street and that people learn new things everyday. 

“I found out about the mycelium extract when I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast,” Cimini said. “He had a mycologist on by the name of Paul Stamets. He has spent a lot of time studying bees and eventually theorized that bees use mushrooms to help strengthen their immune systems.”

Cimini wants to use her work to spread awareness about sustainability and the importance of balancing ecosystems.

“Bees, and most insects, are so important to the Earth’s ecosystems and there is a rapid decline in most insect species,” Cimini said. “Bees are one of the biggest contributors to pollination. Without pollination we wouldn’t have food to eat, thus our ecosystems would collapse. So really I’m just trying to draw attention to something that really needs it. Bees need our help.”