10:04 AM

Arts Professor Receives Fulbright Global Scholar Award

Lucy HG Solomon, an associate professor of Art, Media and Design at Cal State San Marcos, has been recognized with a Fulbright Global Scholar Award for an art and science research project that is scheduled to take her to three different countries in the upcoming academic year.

Solomon received the award for a project titled "A Pan-Microbiological Portrait of the Arctic, the Andes and the Amazon.” It will focus on the microbiology of distinct terrains to illustrate the macro connections between different microbial geographies. With embedded residencies in Norway, Peru and Brazil, Solomon will shadow microbiologists and ecologists, and collaborate with international artists to develop an installation that combines data visualization and scientific storytelling.

The projected outcome of the global study of the contrasting regions’ microbial terrains is an art installation that connects them.

"As a Fulbright Global Scholar, I aspire to carve an intellectual and creative path that marries art and science, with offshoots that present new perspectives into the macro relationships of distinct microbiological terrains,” Solomon said.

Segments of the research project will build on relationships that Solomon has formed in past years, including the portion in Peru with Letty Salinas and César Arana of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima. Salinas and Arana were faculty collaborators in an exchange program for which Solomon was the faculty lead from CSUSM — a program coordinated between CSUSM’s Office of Global Education and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos that brought CSUSM students to the Peruvian Amazon and students from Lima to North County in 2018.

The project also builds on Solomon’s work with Cesar Baio, a Brazilian artist with whom she collaborated on a project that won the international Lumen Prize for Digital Art in 2018. Baio will host Solomon along with scientists at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). In Norway, Solomon will work with artists, scientists and students around Arctic microbiology in Svalbard.

The Fulbright Global Scholar Award allows U.S. academics and professionals to engage in multi-country, trans-regional projects. It’s part of the Fulbright Program, which was established in 1946 and awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Program alumni include 60 Nobel laureates, 86 Pulitzer Prize winners, 74 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

Solomon said she applied for the award last September, months before the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 2 million people around the world.

“The pandemic we find ourselves in, along with the global population, impacts our day-to-day lives in so many ways,” she said. “Microbiology is now a main character in global movements, in world economies, and in all of our daily lives. I have no doubt that this lived experience will guide the project and influence how the project's pan-microbiological portrait will resonate with viewers. I look forward to bringing these microbiological stories back to CSUSM, to shaping new narratives alongside our student artists.”