Viola Yu

Artist’s Statement

“Some see weeds, some see wishes”

I like to think that the world isn’t actually so divided between these two different types of people; where you can either only see the weeds, the plant itself, the biology and the science that goes behind it, or where you can only see the wishes, the beauty, and the whimsical thoughts that are associated. Why can’t we know the inner workings of a plant but also still appreciate the childish joys that come along with blowing off the puffs on a dandelion? My artwork combines both, by exploring with in-depth observation and celebration of the natural world while maintaining scientific accuracy.

I believe there is beauty in everything, from the kaleidoscopic sunsets to the fiberglass filters with their immense monochromatic range of colors; the biotic parts of life such as the humble periwinkle all the way to the abiotic, chaotic splatters of marsh mud you wear with pride after a long, hard day in the field. My focus is to emphasize the often-hidden beauty of science, to pique the interest of the public in new and exciting scientific findings.

My hopes are that you accidentally learn something new while browsing through my art. Optimistic? Yes. Naive? Possibly. Excited? Most definitely!

So… What’re you waiting for? Come join me on this journey! And as they said on my favorite childhood show: “Seat belts everyone!” because with the Frizz, there’s no way it’s going to be a normal field trip!


I graduated Spring ’18 with my undergraduate degree at Cornell University majoring in Environmental Science and Sustainability with a concentration in Environmental Biology and Applied Ecology (EBAE) and a minor in Horticulture with a Focus in Botanical Arts. I worked as a Research Specialist at Princeton University to help run the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) department’s undergraduate teaching labs for a year after graduation. While there, I helped teach the undergraduate students brain anatomy with fermented sheep brains, cranial nerve anatomy with dogfish shark heads, and blood circulation with fetal pigs. Currently, I am finishing up post-baccalaureate classes at Lehigh University before applying for a master’s in Medical Illustration.

See more of my work!

If you want to check out more of my work you can check out my personal website!

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