While most artists paint to imitate nature, others have found a way to make their work with the natural world. The artist-engineers who worked on BIOGLYPHS, a collaborative gallery at Montana State University — Bozeman, fit in the latter camp. Taking note of the glowing potential of bioluminescent bacteria, a team led by researcher Betsey Pitts decided to make full-scale works of art. The night before a recent exhibition (most of the bacteria ran out of fuel after about a day), Pitts and her comrades “painted” a solution containing bacteria harvested from marine environments onto petri dishes, then filled the dishes with agar, glued them closed, and allowed the colonies to form. Check out a few of the resulting canvases after the jump.