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This is an illustration of a Cajal Purkinje cell drawing.
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Dawn Hunter is an Associate Professor, Fulbright Scholar, visual artist, and a distinguished member of the faculty at the University of South Carolina's School of Visual Art and Design. She served in the esteemed capacity of Fulbright España Senior Research Fellow at the Instituto Cajal in Madrid, Spain. Her current oeuvre, eloquently titled "Aesthetic Instincts: The Intersection of Art and Science in the Life of Santiago Ramón y Cajal," pays homage to the foundational figure in neuroscience through a compelling series of biographical illustrations and paintings.

This provocative series, ingeniously interweaving the realms of art and science, is underscored by Professor Hunter's scrupulous exploration of Cajal’s original scientific drawings preserved within the revered archives of the Legado Cajal at the Instituto Cajal. Additionally, she draws inspiration and raw material directly from the scientific illustrations produced by Cajal himself, some of which are currently being showcased at the John Porter Neuroscience Research Center at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.

The breadth of Professor Hunter's work not only echoes her artistic prowess but also magnifies her innate ability to synthesize historical and scientific context into a coherent artistic narrative, thus fostering a profound dialogue between the past and the present, science and art.

Biography continued:

Dawn Hunter pursued her undergraduate studies at the Kansas City Art Institute, Parsons School of Design, and the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art & Music. As a Regents Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of California, Davis where she studied with Robert Arneson, Roy DeForest, and Irit Rogoff. She has participated in numerous solo and multiple artist exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. Additionally, she has also received many awards and grants for her artwork, most notably, a Starr Foundation Fellowship, enabling her to be the first American woman to serve as Artist-in-Residence at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, and she received the 2017-2018 Fulbright España Senior Research Fellowship to the Instituto Cajal, Madrid.

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This is a drawing by Dawn Hunter of Dr. James R. Augustine's Introduction to Neuroscience class.

How did Dawn become interested in Cajal?

By 2014, Dawn Hunter's Spectacle Spectacular series had garnered significant attention, leading to numerous solo exhibitions at prestigious academic institutions across the United States, such as Delaware Contemporary Art Center, Brown University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Whittier College, and Ithaca College. Her standout piece from this series, Art Department, was prominently displayed in the Day Job exhibition at the Drawing Center in New York, NY, and also graced the cover of the esteemed literary journal Swamp Pink [Crazy Horse] from the College of Charleston.

Hunter's artistic journey took an unexpected turn when she worked as a freelance medical illustrator for the 2017 edition of Human Neuroanatomy, published by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and authored by Dr. James R. Augustine of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. This role sparked a deep interest in the history of brain anatomy illustration. During her research, she found particular inspiration in the drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, which she admired for their artistic value and unique observational quality.

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