Dec 8, 2021 - Business

Creative Amanda Vaughn merges science and art

A photo of a painting hanging on a wall with a bar in the background.
Artist Amanda Vaughn's portrait of chemist Alice Ball, along with eight other paintings of women scientists, will be on display at Ani's Day & Night through January. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Art and science have converged at Ani’s Day & Night, where Austin artist Amanda Vaughn’s vibrant collection of paintings — featuring women in science and portraits of protein — are on display through January.

Spend a morning at Ani’s, working under the painted gaze of Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Tereshkova, an engineer and cosmonaut, orbited the Earth 48 times on a solo mission aboard the Vostok 6 in 1963.

  • Say hello to Hypatia, an Egyptian astronomer, philosopher and one of the earliest recorded female mathematicians.
  • Peek in on chemist Alice Ball, who found the most effective treatment for leprosy.

The 35-year-old Vaughn is an artist, DJ and medical science liaison. She received her doctorate in molecular biochemistry from the University of Texas and currently works at Aeglea Biotherapeutics.

A photo of the artist in front of her artwork.
Austin artist Amanda Vaughn seated under her work at Ani's Day & Night. Photo courtesy of Amanda Vaughn

Vaughn painted the nine female scientists at Ani’s using eye-popping acrylic reds, blues, yellows and greens.

  • "I started profiling these different unsung heroes, these women scientists over the years [who] are so seldom referenced," Vaughn told Axios.

She placed the scientists on circular drumheads as a way to display the women "almost like figureheads or coins or like an icon."

  • You won’t find descriptions beside each portrait at Ani's, and that's intentional, Vaughn added.
  • "It's just really helpful to see these women in the context of what they’re doing. Almost folklorically depicted as these characters that really built up society and our understanding of STEM."

Plus, the portraits of nine proteins, all of which Vaughn studied or interacted with in the lab, adorn one wall of the space. This series began as a way to get familiar with the structure of the chains in her own research.

  • "There's hundreds and hundreds of them in our bodies, but without looking at them up close, you have no idea," Vaughn said. "It's somewhere between education and also reckoning with nature, looking at nature from a different lens."

The paintings are available for purchase. Contact Vaughn directly.

And don’t miss her upcoming DJ sets:

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