Art unveiling: Dance of the Chromosomes

MESA, Arizona — Nov. 8, 2018 — The community is invited to the unveiling of Dance of the Chromosomes at 3:30 p.m. today, on the second floor of the Life Sciences Building at the MCC Southern and Dobson Campus.

The collection of three drawings, in which the artist uses human figures to represent the chromosomes during mitosis, were created by Reece Grissom, Mesa Community College alumnus and former biology teacher at Gateway Community College. The stylized movements of the chromosomes during mitosis is often described as the “dance of the chromosomes.”

In addition to teaching biology at Gateway for 29 years, Grissom has also been taking dance classes at MCC for more than 35 years and used her experience in dance to help her visualize the biological process with the movements and poses of dancers bodies.

The life drawings are on display on the second floor of the Life Sciences Building at the MCC Southern and Dobson Campus. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor.

Guests will be able to:

  • View the artwork

  • Meet the artist

  • Observe views of mitosis through a microscope

  • Enjoy free hors d'oeuvres

“Grissom’s artwork is a fantastic addition to the MCC Life Science building” said Andy Baldwin, Ph.D., Chair of the Life Science Department. “Every student taking courses in our department will know exactly what the art depicts when they see it. It is wonderful to see art meeting science. We are so pleased to invite the public to view these drawings and learn about the artist.”

Grissom retired from teaching five years ago and is pleased to have the time to indulge in creating art.  As a youth, she was very interested in both fields and had a difficult decision to make about her future career--art or science? Starving artist or an underpaid biology teacher? Science won and although she thoroughly enjoyed the years of teaching, the desire to create art was always there.

Gingher Leyendecker’s life drawing classes provided the opportunity and encouragement to follow her childhood dream. Grissom is currently working on another series of biological processes--DNA replication.

This display is a collaboration between the MCC Art Department, Life Science Department and Art Gallery. It is one of many projects initiated by campus departments to enrich the appearance of the college with student-produced artwork.

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Contact: Dawn Zimmer, (480) 461-7892,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 195 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and globally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District.

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Source Details

Publication Date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018