Art on Science: 26 études is an international art project commemorating the 60th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Boston, Massachusetts and Strasbourg, France. As centers for art, science, commerce, and education, the two cities share a rich history of cultural exchange.

This collaboration, sometimes simply called “AS26”, was created by 26 artists and 26 scientists, half from each city. The concept was to produce two art portfolios based on scientific themes and to pair each artist with a scientist who would provide a written commentary about the art. One portfolio will be exhibited in Boston and the other in Strasbourg. The proceeds from artwork sales will be used to support future exchanges.

Artists and scientists share much in common: they observe, they evaluate, they interpret. The fields of art and science have cross-pollinated for centuries, as artists document discoveries and scientists provide new ways to view the world.

For this project, scientists made studio visits and artists toured laboratories. Sharing resources and ideas, some pairs worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the lab while others collaborated virtually. Our topics ranged from the plight of the coffee bean to the grandeur of the cosmos. AS26 provided a forum for participants to deconstruct their disciplines and find commonalities. The connections forged were a testament to the power of curiosity and creativity.

AS26 was sponsored by the Boston/Strasbourg Sister City Association and the Comité de Pilotage du Jumelage Boston/Strasbourg. These organizations have supported numerous exchanges of “citizen diplomats” to enrich the cultural ties between our two cities. It has been a pleasure to work with these organizations and the 52 participants who made AS26 possible.