For many years now, I have included at least one artist on our Antarctic research team. The argument for this practice was recently presented at the SCAR meeting in Portland, Oregon (see: Scientists should consider an artist when selecting field team members).
Sometimes these artists have a lot of prior experience (e.g., Steve Alexander - scientist, diver, and photographer; Shawn Harper - diver, photographer; Henry Kaiser - diver, musician, and videographer), but in other cases they have less (e.g., visual artists Claire Beynon and Laura Von Rosk). Regardless of their level of lab or field training, artists always prove to be excellent team members who remain faithful advocates of the continent.
Nevertheless, I'm often a bit nervous taking visual artists to Antarctica. Their "style" (forgive my ignorance of art terminology) is celebrated by their audience, and I'm concerned that Antarctica will change them in ways that might "ruin them." Will their followers be turned off by their Antarctic-inspired work? Maybe this is a silly concern ...
Laura Von Rosk has spent the last six months producing a new series of paintings. I'm biting nails, hoping that her images are well received. Maybe I shouldn't have asked her to melt so many perfect dive holes ???