The installation of artist Rob Kesseler’s micrographs—photos taken through a microscope—of super-magnified plant and insect cells, fibers and particles was supposed to be a temporary beautification project in UMD’s Bioscience Research Building.

But since the 26 images appeared in the building’s main entrance in January, some faculty members have become keen on keeping them. Now, a fundraising effort started by College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences faculty is hoping to give the micrographs a permanent home in the building.

The installation, titled “Worlds Within,” “was really the perfect thing to bring our building to the next level to really make it an exciting place to work and for visitors to get motivated when they walk in,” said Norma W. Andrews, professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, who has taken a lead in the fundraising drive."Worlds Within"

“Many undergraduates hang out there, usually waiting for classes, and I’ve noticed how interested they are—they’re all looking at the images and reading the descriptions,” Andrews added.

The images—otherworldly photographs in which green, purple or yellow lines and circles seem to float against black backgrounds—have transformed “a bit of a sterile space” into a secular “cathedral” said cell biology and molecular genetics Professor Jose Feijo, who is friendly with Kesseler and spearheaded the earlier initiative to bring the artwork to UMD.

CMNS is reaching out to its faculty, staff and alumni and has raised just over $6,000 of the $25,000 needed by the end of the month to pay Kesseler for the artwork and keep it in the Bioscience Research Building, ensuring that art will always be a part of this place of science.

“In my view, these are the two things that really make us human: the ability to do science and the ability to do art,” said Andrews. “It has meaning beyond biology—it has meaning in terms of the human spirit.”

If you would like to be part of this effort, donate at go.umd.edu/cmnsarts