Biology Project: Molecular Art – How does life inspire art?

Taste the brainbow!

Driving Question: How does life inspire art?

Big Idea:  From its beginnings, art has been inspired by our wonder of the natural world and the life birthed from it. At its core, the essence of life can be traced to the structures and functions of just four amazing molecules:  Nucleic Acids, Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Lipids. As these molecules create life from simple shapes, can you create meaning from your art? By creating a piece of art inspired by one of the four biomolecules you will deconstruct the relationships between form, function, and life to make your own statement.

Products:  (1) A piece of thoughtful art inspired by the structure and functions of one of the four major biomolecules. (2) A short essay analyzing and explaining  your art collective’s piece of art.

Day 1 goals:

  1. Answer prompt question “What kind of art moves me?” to open your mind to the awesome possibilities of art. What type of art resonates with you?
  2. View examples of art and the beauty of biology  (see links below)
  3. Brainstorm art ideas for your favorite biomolecules: Nucleic Acids, Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Lipids
  4. Get into your assigned “art collective” (Group of 4-ish students) and discuss ideas, assign molecules. *Each collective must make art for all four biomolecule types.


Your art must have connections to BOTH the structure and function of your chosen molecule. Each connection should show your deep understanding.

Honors: 4 connections minimum

Enriched: 3 connections minimum

During the project, you will meet with your “art collective” to explain your creative process. For the written part of the project you must an “art review” – that describes your group’s 4 pieces of molecular art. Requirements are as follows:

Each art review should explain ALL connections between the art and the inspiration molecule. Put the description of your own art first!

Each art review should accurately explain the artist’s intention.

Honors: Art review typed and at least Two double-spaced pages, font size 12

Enriched: Art review typed and at least 1 double-spaced page, font size 12

Due date: Art piece and essay due Friday 9/24

Go forth and create! Have fun with this project. You are an artist even if you don’t know it yet!

Art inspiration links (share your inspirations @scienceiwthmrle):

Youtube playlist


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