Coming to Rochester Art Center June 23 – September 21, 2018

Opening Reception | Friday, June 22 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Do you have your mother’s dimples? Or your father’s hairline? What is it about us that makes us, us? And how much of it actually sets us apart from not only other human beings but from every other living thing on Earth?

Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code begins to unravel the mystery behind the complete set of instructions needed for every living thing on Earth to grow and function: the genome.

It took nearly a decade, three billion dollars, and thousands of scientists to sequence the human genome in 2003. And thanks to the pioneering work of the Human Genome Project, we are starting to know so much more about ourselves, and our world.

Your genome is a roadmap that can help you trace your ancestral past, and take charge of your future health. Discover how our newfound ability to identify thousands of genes that contribute to disease has helped open the way to more personalized healthcare. Weigh in on the legal and ethical issues surrounding cutting-edge genomic research and its implications on society.

See yourself in a new way: as an individual, as a member of a family, and as part of the diversity of life on Earth.

Opening Summer 2018 at Rochester Art Center.

Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code was developed and produced by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute in association with Science North. The Mayo Clinic is the presenting sponsor of the Smithsonian Museum exhibition. And was made possible in part by financial support from Life Technologies and other sponsors.

Find more information about the exhibition here:

Genome Exhibition Hours:

10am – 5pm Tuesday
10am – 9pm Wednesday*
10am – 5pm Thursday
10am – 5pm Friday
10am – 5pm Saturday
CLOSED Sundays & Mondays

*Wednesday, August 22: RAC will be closing at 5pm


Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference is a series of photographs by artist Rick Guidotti that seek to show the beauty of all people by photographing those living with genetic conditions. Each artwork has a different subject, giving each person’s story a chance to be told. These photographs depict joy and remind viewers we all have something in common. For more information visit:

Beyond the Diagnosis displays commissioned paintings from artists around the world, each focusing on someone living with a rare genetic disease. As we find inherent human integrity, joy and wonder in each work we look “beyond the diagnosis” and see the person. Beyond the Diagnosis asks for us to connect, to remember, and to cherish life.

First Person Plural is a video artwork that overlays participants’ portraits and intermix animations of data visualization tools commonly used in genomic and individualized medicine research. As viewers approach the installation, their likenesses are captured and included in the evolving imagery, inviting them to consider, challenge and share their own perspectives on identity and wellbeing.

Myriphon is an interactive genetic soundscape that chimes and responds when visitors answer questions about their genetic traits and environmental factors. Myriphon takes its name from a 1901 wall size instrument of moving discs. This 21st Century Myriphon has 23 discs, for the 23 genetic markers that move and shift as new genetic info is received. Both of these works are created by Rochester based artist Eric Anderson.

G-enga is an interactive sculpture by Zoe Cinel inspired by the game Jenga and by the Rosetta Stone that uses interactivity and play to familiarize the audience with the genome. As the Rosetta Stone has done for language, genomic research has done for deciphering DNA code and as a result human connections. Visitors are invited to arrange any number of the 550 large wooden pegs that either contain phrases, questions, concerns, and facts about the genome or is left blank for the visitor contribute their thoughts and responses to what they learned about the genome.

Shah Noor Shafqat’s installation, Intimate Gravity, incorporates abstract paintings with paintings of her child to be in utero that explores the feelings of a mother, the artist, coping with the passing on of a genetic condition. When her daughter was born with a severe genetic eczema, Shafqat turned to her art practice to cope with the challenges this disease caused her family. Each abstract disc uses paint and embroidery to recreate the sensation of human skin.


RAC Chats

This series exposes individuals to a wide range of experiences through artistic, creative and scientific expression of the genomic sciences. Come chat with scientific experts, as well as, local and nationally renowned artists. More information

Book Club

Two books will be featured throughout this series: The Story Within by Amy Boesky and Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics by Phillip R. Reilly. More information

Seniors, Medicine & Art

Sessions will focus on genomics in healthcare related to aging and medications. More information

Free Family Days

Fun and interactive events aimed at exposing children to science and art with a focus on the human genome. More information

Genome Zone

Interactive, hands-on activities available for all ages to explore genomic concepts through artistic expression.