Sheila Pinkel mixes science with photography

"Who owns nature?" A question posed under the photograph of a cantaloupe x-ray displayed in SMC's Emeritus Campus art gallery, bends the rules of how art is traditionally perceived. Well-known international artist, photographer, and Professor Sheila Pinkel addressed the issues of nature and social issues at the art gallery. Pinkel said her overall theme for the gallery was called "Site Unseen." Each story told in her photographs was a site unseen whether it was an issue of nature and science, or a social issue generally overlooked by the public. In the photo "Site Unseen: Who Owns Nature?" a blue background is shown like in any other photo of an x-ray, "the color of the image is blue because doctors prefer to look at that color," said Pinkel while describing the reasons for doctors' use of x-rays. 

The theme discussed here is the lack of natural grown foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Pinkel talks about her concern for this and how farms and grocery stores are being controlled by different companies who are requiring the fruit to go to factories where chemicals are injected. 

This particular photo was taken and developed in a lab, as a professor she also teaches her students how to take x-ray photos. 

"I take my students to a physics lab and we'll make images using all the equipment and its fun for them," continued.said Pinkel.  "I placed objects on a charged selenium plate. The plate was placed in a Xerox machine, dusted with charged toner and in about one minute a print would be produced." 

She also applied the idea to a social issue which shows the control of different companies in other areas of life in a photo called "Site Unseen: Guards." 

In this photo she addresses the inhuman labor that museum guards have to endure, and how it isn't visible to many people who tour museums. The photo shows a security guard as a white ghostly image walking around and guarding the museum. Beneath the photo she included a quote from the guard that expressed how he felt about working in a museum describing how things suddenly changed when a large company bought out the museum. 

"It didn't occur to me that I would become good in photography, but I did; I fell in love with it," said Pinkel. Her solid foundation in science and interest in art and digital photography helps her communicate to a variety of people.