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STEM-Inspired Art On Display at TAG UWF

The Art Gallery at the University of West Florida is hosting STEAM National Art and Technology Exhibition. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The show features science and mathematics-inspired work from artists from across the United States. Thomas Asmuth is an art instructor at UWF. He was part of the team that planned the exhibit.

“We took a look at artists who worked in media that really formed, like, a hybrid practice, people who have an interdisciplinary focus, where they’re using science, high tech, engineering, mathematics. Where the aesthetics meets that is where you end up with this idea of a national movement of adding arts into STEM foundation education, referred to as ‘STEAM,’” Asmuth said.

One of the artists whose work is on display in the STEAM show is Kevin Gallup. He produces sculptures through bronze casting and has collaborated with Dutch mathematician Koos Verhoeff on a series known as STEM Sculpture over the past twenty years.

“There’s a whole lot of physics and material science involved in it, that it takes a very well-rounded education to understand,” Gallup said. “Not just a pure art, you have to have a bunch of different stuff under your belt to fully understand how to handle the medium. It’s just understanding how the material works, and the better you understand how the material works, the more you can manipulate its qualities into an object.”

Another artist in the show is Sara Schneckloth, an associate professor in the art department at the University of South Carolina. Schneckloth says she draws inspiration for her artwork from several scientific disciplines, including biology, geology and paleontology.

“When I think of visual culture of science as a whole, it really has to do with that idea of how we visualize certain processes of inquiry. So what is it about the very small that attracts us, what is it about the phenomenally large that inspires the imagination? The drawings that I do really try to bridge those different ways of seeing the world around us,” Schneckloth said.

Schneckloth believes there is a relationship between art and science, as both are manifestations of creativity.

“Both are driven by a kind of curiosity,” Schneckloth said. “The art process itself is a kind of experimentation. I myself think of my studio as a kind of laboratory where I go in, I can try things out. I can fail. I can discover things. I can invent things. I can synthesize things using materials that in many ways border on the chemical process. There’s the bringing together of paint and graphite and ink and charcoal, seeing how all those things interact to create something new.”

The STEAM exhibit will be on display at the UWF Art Gallery through March 27.

Katya Ivanov, WUWF News