Art, Science, and the Gaps
By Samantha Rojas
“A mind that is stretched by a new
experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
-Oliver Wendell Homes
Artist and neuroscience student Nzingah Oniwosan lives in the gaps. She has found an interesting way to bridge her personal gaps between art and business, art and science, and use it for her professional and community-oriented gains. By combining her zeal for art and her proclivity for science into a Teaching Artist business that sustains her financially, today she is on a mission to inspire and accentuate the developmental skills in special needs children. Nzingah finds that tomorrow she will be happiest as an artist and a doctor. “That is where I will conquer the world!” she says with a challenging smile.
A follower of the Howard Gardner School of Theory, Nzingah believes that art expands the mind’s potential to absorb information. Gardner's ‘theory of multiple intelligences’ cites that human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, and that these are independent of each other. “I believe in these multiple intelligences, so for me the education system sometimes alienates children who can’t learn through the standard systems," she says. “It’s a gap; I am driven towards working in it.”
Nzingah the scientist uses catch words loosely that immediately resonate with an artistic soul. Words like harmony and risk; rising to the challenge; emotional disconnect…words and situations that as humans, we come face-to-face with every day; and more so, in the life of an artist. This artist, then equally as fluently, refers in medical speak to terms such as auditory, tactile, kinesthetic…to describe different types of mental interpretations in learning, as this is where she feels that artistic methods may be used as a mechanism to reach almost every type of learner. The divide between the two sides of her personality is invisible; this artist/scientist is clearly one and the same in mind and spirit, neurons and pastels.
During her junior year, while studying neuroscience- she took a break to ensure that her educational decisions were her own. With this break, she confronted the risk of not returning, or returning to something else.
And the risk of finding her business of art.
Another gap between the arts and business rears its presence between young artists and their parents in the zone where young creators might be encouraged while choosing a career; and again on the political field of Federal and State spending. Year in and year out, the idea of the arts as a formidable economic driver is challenged, and re-challenged. This gap exists at the alpha and the omega of business life as we know it.