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© Tova Katzman

Celebrating 100 Years of tropical Research through Art & Science

Estudio Nuboso

Smithsonian’s Barro Colorado Island Research Station in Panama celebrates 100 years of ongoing tropical biology, and Estudio Nuboso was invited to host an art & science residency. Here we share the experience with you!

For the 100 year anniversary of Barro Colorado Island (BCI), the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute created an exhibition in the Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá titled Barro Colorado Island, one hundred years of discovery and wonder, that is currently up until January 2024. We were invited to design and accompany a six week long art residency and include the results within the exhibit. Three artists – Carolina Borrero, Isabel Brostella, and Isabel de Obaldía – collaborated on long-term research projects that have been taking place on the island: Smithsonian Bat Lab: Rachel Page, the ForestGEO plot & climate change forest monitoring with Klaus Winter, Forest Disease Lab at STRI: Erin Spear and Hernán Capador-Barreto. We selected these three powerful artists, who are capable of transmitting the curiosity and excitement that can lead to deepening our knowledge of the exuberant and delicate tropical environment around us.

Given the challenges that we face with the environmental and social crisis, we consider that many of the answers lie in nature and that interdisciplinary collaboration is key to better communicate the messages that science discovers. Art can offer space and new perspectives from which to reflect and develop a higher awareness of life systems in the planet and our role within them.

As an art and ecology platform, passionate about transmitting how important tropical ecosystems are for the general wellbeing of planet Earth and all of its inhabitants, it is a pleasure for us to collaborate with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the Museo del Canal Interoceánico (MUCI) in expanding this century-long dialogue on tropical science and share it with the public.

In this page you will find documentation of the residency which was co-facilitated by Emily Zhukov, Mana Pinto, Ela Spalding and Tova Katzman – who produced most of the photographs and the video that so eloquently conveys the experience. Olivia Milloway joined in with interviews and sound recordings which you can also enjoy.


This is a digital exhibition which can be accessed here for the duration of the festival.

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