LSU Vet School is Home to the First-Ever Resident Artist: Combining Clinical Labs to Create Art – The Advocate | Candle Made Easy

The bottle of red liquid on Shelby Prindaville’s work table doesn’t look artistic, and she’s fine with that.







Shelby Prindaville borrowed materials from the various laboratories and clinics at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to incorporate into her paintings. She has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




She will be the first to admit that art supplies are all in the eye of the artist, and if Rapid Differential Stain #2 is needed to get the job done, then so be it.

That’s the name of the red stuff in the bottle. It’s on Prindaville’s workbench next to a bottle of blue stuff called Counter Stain. Both are labeled as veterinary products, the daily necessities used in the laboratories of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

Shelby Prindaville has spent her summer working as an artist-in-residence at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She is the first female artist of…

But Prindaville sees them differently. She’s spent her summer working as the vet school’s first-ever artist-in-residence. Well, make that the first artist in the country to be selected for a residency at a veterinary school.







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Shelby Prindaville takes a picture of a fledgling bird at the Wildlife Clinic at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Prindaville has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




This also makes her the first artist to incorporate the daily work of clinicians directly into her own.

“As we proceed with this residency, we will not limit it to visual artists,” said Sandra Sarr, communications manager. “We’ll also look at musicians, writers, photographers and others.”







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Shelby Prindaville paints a baby bird on a betaine and cornstarch background in her studio on the second floor of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She began the process by photographing the bird while it was being treated at the school’s Wildlife Clinic. She has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




Still, it seemed somehow appropriate to start the program with a visual artist, as the school has in the past hosted juried international ‘animal in art’ exhibitions. Funds raised at this show benefited the vet school library.

“We’re bringing this show back,” Sarr said.







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Shelby Prindaville’s ceramics collection stands in front of a painting of a baby bird created during her time as artist-in-residence at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.




In the meantime, on Monday July 25, the school will open an exhibition of works created during Prindaville’s stay. Unless you look for it, you probably won’t notice the Rapid Differential Stain #2 blending into her paintings of baby birds and long-eared goats. Here’s a tip: take a good look at the pinks and reds against the backdrop of Prindaville’s trio of goats. This is due to the stain, which is typically used to stabilize blood samples on slides.







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Shelby Prindaville borrowed materials from the various laboratories and clinics at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to incorporate into her paintings. She has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




“When we started, we had meetings with about a dozen of our clinicians and researchers to familiarize them with what Shelby is doing here and how they might be able to help,” Sarr said. “It was just a magical experience.”

Everyone was fascinated that Prindaville wanted to immortalize something from her everyday life with her work.







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Shelby Prindaville takes a picture of a baby goat at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Clinic. Prindaville has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




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“They really loved that an artist was interested in what they were doing,” said Prindaville. “One of the things I’ve tried that I think really resonates here is that I’m trying to use actual veterinary tools, materials, chemicals and medicines in novel ways in the artwork itself. So it’s not exactly like the kind of theme that comes from here, but also like the physicality of the piece. It’s really connected to the place, and I think that was something that people found really strong.







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Shelby Prindaville’s finished painting of a baby goat being treated at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Prindaville has spent the summer as the school’s artist-in-residence.




Prindaville earned her master’s degree in fine arts from LSU in 2013. LSU painting professor Kelli Scott Kelley told her about the residency, and with a resume that spanned seven artist residencies around the world between 2014 and 2021, Prindaville was practically a shoo-in for the job.

“I also focus on ecological artworks, and animals make up a big part of my work,” she said. “But I also do a lot of mixed media work about plants and general ecosystems and some really wild things like ocean acidification, crystal growing and things like that. It all ties into the idea that I’m looking at human balance through nature’s lens.”







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Shelby Prindaville’s finished painting of a baby goat being treated at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Prindaville has spent the summer as the school’s artist-in-residence.




Prindaville will return to her regular job as chair of the arts department at Morningside University in Sioux City, Iowa when the residency ends on July 31. For now, she paints paintings on the second floor of the veterinary school.

The residency required Prindaville to manage just one play a week, but she didn’t limit herself to that, especially after visiting the school’s wildlife and large animal clinics.







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Shelby Prindaville paints a baby bird on a betaine and cornstarch background in her studio on the second floor of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She began the process by photographing the bird while it was being treated at the school’s Wildlife Clinic. She has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




Portraits of young birds and goats from these clinics lean against the wall behind her desk. Although they appear complete, all are stranded at an experimental stage.

“Some of the veterinary materials that I’ve used are starting to fade,” Prindaville said. “I used more intense amounts of the stain to hopefully combat some of that volatile nature. This is how these fluorescent pink tones are created. I put it on really thick, so I’m hoping that it keeps its coloring more in the background.”







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Shelby Prindaville drew two mosquitoes on mosquito paper given to her by doctors at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Behind the mosquitoes are paintings of a baby bird and baby goats that were created during her time as the school’s artist-in-residence.




But in the end, her work will be intertwined with vet school. As part of the residency, Prindaville has agreed to donate one of her works to the school.

She could choose to donate the profile portrait of the baby bird against a background of betaine mixed with cornstarch. Or the sculpture of the black vulture, similar to the bird that the veterinary school had released into the wild a few weeks earlier.







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Shelby Prindaville paints a baby bird on a betaine and cornstarch background in her studio on the second floor of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She began the process by photographing the bird while it was being treated at the school’s Wildlife Clinic. She has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




Or it could be the two female mosquitoes who just finished a blood meal. They are drawn on paper that researchers use to collect mosquito eggs.

Each of their works would not only be in keeping with the spirit of the residency, but also set the precedent for the next artist.







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Shelby Prindaville paints at her desk at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Prindaville has spent the summer working as the school’s artist-in-residence.




“I really like images to connect with the people here, but I especially like it when the people who work here actually find out what media I use,” Prindaville said. “They’re just blown away because they see a tool they use every day in a completely different way. It just changes their perspective.

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