Dr. Kathleen Sluka. I am a neuroscientist who envisions cells through art. I have always been interested in art, and started painting at a young age. I just retrieved some paintings I did in elementary school from my parents basement. When I was in high school I contemplated an art career. However, I had other interests – mostly science and math. These seemed more employable. So I pursued the healthcare industry as a physical therapist and followed that with a PhD in Anatomy. Anatomy is the study of the body including cells.
For years I did not pursue art, instead focused on my studies and my career. Then one Christmas my husband gave me all the supplies I needed to begin pursuing art. It took a while to redevelop the skills, and to find my focus. I explored different mediums. I created a variety of work from still life’s to landscapes to abstract designs. A few years ago I began painting cells. For me this is a combination of my passion for science and my love of art. What you see on this website are my vision of the cells that make our body so amazing.
My day job is as a Professor at the University of Iowa in The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. I run an neuroscience research laboratory focusing on understanding the underlying mechanisms of pain and improving treatment for those with chronic pain. I also teach the next generation of physical therapists to treat people with pain and the next generation of scientists to study the mechanisms and treatment for pain.
My medium of choice is acrylic paint. I spend my weekdays in my laboratory creating science and my weekends in my basement creating the art of science. This website was designed to highlight my art. If you want more details on my science please visit my university site https://medicine.uiowa.edu/pt/profile/kathleen-sluka.
I have been painting for years and am self taught. In 2015 I began to focus my art on cells. As an anatomist, I realized that the body and cells are beautiful and should be shared. While I have focused on neurons, which in my opinion may be the most interesting and beautiful cells in the body, I have also painted other cell types including blood cells, fibroblasts, and chondrocytes.
These paintings are available for display or sale, and in print format. Select items are available custom printed on ties, scarves, tote bags, and notecards – Etsy CellsofLife
Follow me on Twitter where I share science, art and science art – @ksluka0101
Follow me on Instagram where I share my art cellsoflife