Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Art in the shadows: The eclipse artistry of Professor Corey Tester

Simeon Hardley
Corey Tester, a professor at Southern Illinois University shows the total eclipse path for the upcoming Eclipse on April 8. He will be one of the official designers and photographers who will capture the upcoming eclipse March 28, 2024 in Carbondale, Illinois. @SimShardPhotography

One of the faculty members currently working to make the total solar eclipse a success is Associate Instructor Corey Tester. The School of Art and Design’s Visual Resource Specialist is also a designer and photographer on the SIU eclipse team.


“I’ve…worked on a logo for SolarSTEAM, which is a NASA grant-funded project with the STEM education research center. And so I have a logo for them, branding for them, some promotional materials, expo, a trade show, backdrops and tablecloths and things like that,” Tester said. “They can be well represented and all the big expos in the arena, in the stadium, big shows, and a lot of people are really into it.”



Tester is also a part of the Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast (DEB) Initiative, a nationwide citizen science team that broadcasted new and exciting views of eclipses. He designed the logo for the initiative and worked on some of the promotional materials for the project. To see more about this project visit  Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast Initiative 


“They’ve been able to work on some projects with me and the STEM education research center and that’s how I got involved with this go around the eclipse. I have produced a lot of several different logos for them for different grant-funded projects on campus. It’s the Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast Initiative. So I designed that logo and worked with some commercial materials for them,” he said.


DEB is a citizen science team that broadcasts live views of eclipses across the United States. The goal of the Initiative is to provide new views of eclipses while engaging the public in scientific research. The DEB Initiative is made up of over 80 white light solar observation teams located in Mexico, the US, and Canada.



“So I did a t-shirt design for them that they sold at their visitor center in 2017. So there’s a 2024 version of that with different dates and information but the same coordinates… I also was able to capture a nice photograph of the Eclipse in 2017. I am fortunate to have a lot of support with equipment this time around, so hopefully I can capture an even better photograph of the Eclipse, perhaps a video with much higher resolution, higher definition,” Tester said.


As a designer, Tester likes to distill complex ideas into their simplest forms


 “I developed a lot of visual identities, logos, that sort of thing, designs of t-shirts, and graphics like that. The point of a successful logo is to distill those complex ideas down to something simply identifiable… so we’ve been working on using graph design to communicate and get conversations started,” he said.


Tester was born and raised in a family that valued both art and science.


“My mom is an artist. She’s a very talented and creative painter, and mixed media artist and has been her whole life. I got a lot of lessons growing up from her and encouragement,” Tester said.


He spent countless hours in his youth drawing and sketching, and it was during this time that he developed a love for visual storytelling and the power of imagery. As he got older, he began to see the connections between art and science, realizing that they were not so different after all.


“My dad, to be honest, had a lot of the science interest, I think, comes from my dad as well he actually studied forestry at SIU but he actually ended up working in the advertising department in a movie theater company, in a carousel music theater, so but I grew up here until I was about in fourth grade, grew up in Carbondale,” Tester said.


The eclipse project has been a remarkable opportunity, he said.


 “So, it is great to be able to collaborate with some of the scientists on campus. And merge my expertise in design and photography and their expertise in capturing the eclipse, capturing data about the scientific data about the sun. One of the most, basically the most important thing in our lives is the sun. So, it’s a great opportunity to collaborate,” Tester said.



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