Natural Science meets Steampunk in Museum’s Nature Art Gallery Show

Visitors to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have a little over a week to experience John W Elliott’s intriguing “Exterminati Sunt Mechanica” exhibit. Blending classical scientific illustrations of arthropods (creepy crawlies) with cyber and steampunk themes, the exhibition started on December 1st 2017 and will conclude on January 31st 2018.

A working designer and artist for over a decade, Raleigh-based Elliott is a visual artist and Artistic Director for Zendustria, a neo-Renaissance guild of artists and designers dedicated to bringing art and design to home and office. His work at Zendustria has focused on an exploration of scientific illustration and biomechanical whimsy. His first series explored the bounds of scientific illustration by giving his subjects a biomechanical twist. His latest series works with human forms which are melded with engines and automotive elements. Elliott has been touring with his work for the past three years and has pieces hanging in the US, France, Poland, Japan and India.

Prior to Zendustria, Elliott worked at Epic Games, Inc., studied game development, game design, concept art and level design, and took part in a character and story development master class with PIXAR’s Matthew Luhn. Over the course of his career, he has utilized his skills to serve a variety of local companies, including Mobility Medics, where he did custom design and fabrication of special-needs parts for patients. With the software company Animated Communications, he produced character designs and concepts, 2D and 3D backgrounds, and scripts for short videos. He also produced posters, T-shirt designs and more for the Carolina Theatre of Durham, and has enjoyed a thriving freelance career.

Elliott holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design and Bachelor of Art + Design from the College of Design at North Carolina State University with a focus on film special effects, model making, production and history. He also studied Renaissance art, art history and architecture at the Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. His extensive travel throughout Europe, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria informs his work.

The Nature Art Gallery is located inside the Museum Store. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4:45 p.m. Admission to the Gallery is free. All exhibited art is for sale. For more information about the Nature Art Gallery, call 919.707.9854.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director. For more information, visit

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