Art As Science
Graduating from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in both Biology and Art has put McClure at a unique juncture where she has the ability to visually narrate the happenings and findings of the cutting edge of the medical field. "Nicole’s research interests lie in employing her artistic prowess for the communication of technical and scientific research. For the last three years, Nicole has been working as a Scientific Illustrator for the University of Kansas. During this time, she has illustrated a phylogenetics text, which was implemented in classrooms in 2010, and is finishing a human osteology manual for the KU Human Anatomy Program. Additionally, she is co-authoring and illustrating a journal article that describes a new species of Thai frog. Privately, she has illustrated a text on electrocardiogram interpretation for a cardiac specialist then teaching at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and recently acquired work on fetal diseases with Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. As time allows, she volunteers her illustration and design skills to community organizations such as the Heartland Community Health Center, for whom she designed an informational brochure."
She states that "unlike many of my peers, I use art as a tool for communication, as opposed to a conduit for personal expression. Because I have been trained in both art and science, I am able to use the visual language to communicate the complexities of scientific research and study, which are often too complicated to be described using text alone." Her "job is to tell the stories of scientific research, which can be very difficult if you’re not accustomed to the field. My illustrations are valuable because they help the viewers build relationships with objects and materials that might be outside their everyday purview. Sometimes all we need is a well-crafted illustration to draw un into an opposing field"
McClure believes that "great art conveys a sense of wonder all on its own. By showing you beautifully rendered images of the hip bone, or the slender scapula, it becomes more than a specimen. And in exchange, art finds a new home in the fields of medicine and biology, expanding everyone’s horizons."