James R. Smail Gallery

Smail Gallery
Olin-Rice Science Center, First Floor


Karina Li graduated from Macalester with a biology major in 2014. This exhibit enabled Karina to combine her love for biology with her love for art. Emergence is a visual study of the patterns that appear when individual organisms aggregate. While the designs of multitudes can be as diverse as the animals that participate in them, they share a number of characteristics that make them a powerful subject for visual contemplation. Global order is achieved from a disorganized system as long as each individual follows a simple set of rules regarding local space. These rules usually involve maintaining proximity without collision and mimicking the movements of others. From this simplicity, a pattern materializes that is decentralized, self-correcting, and remarkably resilient to perturbation.

James R. Smail

The James R. Smail Natural History and Science Gallery was established in honor of James Smail, a beloved Biology professor and department chair, who died in 1993.

James R. Smail