A multi-media group exhibition that explores the relationship between art and science
Curated by Krista Steinke and Sherman Finch
Featuring the works of: Gretchen Freitag, Cassandra Hanks, Morgan Jenks, Erica Malone, Laura Murphy, Emily Oswald, Talie Pittman, Amy Richards, Tiffany Sanchez, Justin Sheehy, Mallory Snell, James Storey
On view: March 27 – May 9, 2015
Opening artist reception & artist performance: Friday, March 27, 2015, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
“Supernova” is a group exhibition of works by current students and recent graduates of the MFA and MS in Visualization programs at Texas A&M University. The Department of Visualization and its Viz Lab is a unique environment that explores the intersection of art, science and technology. Curators, Krista Steinke and Sherman Finch, intentionally kept the selection criteria for “Supernova” very broad by including art that is either informed or inspired by science. This open criterion allowed for the inclusion of a wide range of media: including performance, video, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media. The public is invited to an opening reception beginning at 6 p.m., with a performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 27, along with a community workshop entitled Natural Preserves: Aquascaping, on May 9, from 2-4 p.m., where participants may create their own submerged compositions using repurposed mason jars and an assortment of aquatic plants. Both events are free and held at Fresh Arts, 2101 Winter Street, Studio B11, Houston, TX, 77007. Free parking is available.
The field of Visualization is inherently interdisciplinary and draws core concepts from Art, Design, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology, Psychology, among other areas of human endeavor. In the midst of economic uncertainty, the United States turned to innovation and instituted an initiative to encourage STEM, an acronym referring to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, in education. Critics of the movement insist that Art and Design are just as poised to transform national economy as the sciences and should be included. The Department of Visualization advocates for changing STEM into STEAM by adding the field of art as a major component to this nationwide mission.
With twelve artist participants, the work featured in this exhibition explores several areas of the “scientific”. For example, Cassie Hanks creates photographs of extraterrestrial planetary landscapes using organic materials based on data she gathered from rovers, satellites, and telescopes. Laura Murphy’s video transforms patterns formed by magnets and ferromagnetic materials into animated abstract compositions. Amy Richards uses the scanner as a tool to investigate the physical qualities and make up of copper sulfate crystals. Tiffany Sanchez is interested in the inherent artistic qualities of ecosystems and explores this through an installation of tiny terrariums that were created through a series of community-based workshops. Gretchen Freitag creates abstract representations that aim to visualize the physical thought process of memory. Justin Sheehy has built a digital, time-based sketch based upon the complexity and perceived randomness of mathematical chaos. Morgan Jenks, who specializes in aleatoric compositions, creates live performances that explore the relationship between digital data and musical score. Collectively, the work in this exhibition will present a dialogue between the aesthetic and conceptual possibilities of science and the transcendent power of art, proposing a unique relationship that introduces new understanding and meaning.
Cultured Cocktails benefiting “Supernova”
March 19, 2015, 5-7 p.m.
Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar, 307 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77006
Artist reception: Friday, March 27, 2015, 6-8 p.m. /// Performance @ 7 p.m.
Fresh Arts, Winter Street Studios, B11, 2101 Winter Street, Houston, TX 77007
Community workshop: Natural Preserves: Aquascaping
May 9, 2-4 p.m., Free
After a brief introduction to minimalist aquascaping techniques and design considerations, participants may create their own submerged compositions using repurposed mason jars and an assortment of aquatic plants.
Fresh Arts, Winter Street Studios, B11, 2101 Winter Street, Houston, TX 77007
ABOUT THE ARTISTS & CURATORS:
Artist and Curator Biography
Houston native Gretchen Freitag is a new media artist who works in photography and animation. Her work has been exhibited in The Arts Council of Brazos Valley and The Wright Gallery in College Station, TX. She was the director of Viz-a-GoGo 21, an annual screening/exhibition in Downtown Bryan. Freitag is currently a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Visualization at Texas A&M University.
Texas born Cassandra Hanks is a photographer and holds an MFA in Visualization from Texas A&M University. Her photography has been shown at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY, The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tuscan, Arizona and at the HEREarts Center in Manhattan, NY. Her works are included in the collection at the University at Arizona and Art And Science Collaborations, Inc NY. Her photography has been featured in publications such as Peripheral ARTeries, SciArt in America and mentioned in The New York Times.
Morgan Jenks has a background in "classical" music and holds a bachelor’s of music from Sam Houston State University with additional studies at The California Institute of the Arts. He received an MFA in Visualization degree from Texas A&M University in December 2014. He is currently developing a tourable live audio/visual set and exploring traditional fine art mediums.
Erica Malone has a background in veterinary anatomy with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the department of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at Texas A&M University. As an undergraduate, she also minored in art and creative studies from the Department of Visualizations and Educational Psychology respectively. Erica is currently seeking an MS degree in the Department of Visualizations at Texas A&M University where she is doing research in the area of Veterinary Anatomy Education and the impact of tangible and virtual models as teaching and study aids.
Laura Murphy is a multi-disciplinary artist with interests in generative systems, digital effects, and niche physical phenomena. She is a 3rd year MS student in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University.
Emily Oswald is a first year MFA student in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University. Born in Virginia and raised in College Station, She works with traditional and digital media, including photography and animation.
Natalie “Talie” Pittman is a multi-media artist and educator based in the greater Houston area. Her art focuses on merging broad forms with systems of observation. She graduated from Texas A&M in 2012 with a MFA in Visualization Sciences. Natalie is currently the Instructor of Digital Media at Wharton County Junior College through a partnership with the University of Houston.
Amy Richards is a Houston-based mixed media artist who works with both traditional and digital media. She is pursuing an MFA in Visualization and plans to graduate December of 2015. Her work was exhibited at The Arts Council of Brazos Valley, The Wright Gallery, Las Laguna Gallery in LA, and featured in Viz-a-GoGo, an annual screening/exhibition in Bryan, Texas.
Tiffany Sanchez is an emerging Texas artist preferring to work with raw, organic, repurposed, and living materials. Her works have been featured in exhibitions including Viz-a-GoGo, PLAY (Arts Council of Brazos Valley), and Oculus Riff (Binary Space). She has also led a number of workshops in collaboration with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, the Downtown Bryan Association, and the Viz Lab. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Visualization at Texas A&M University. Her passions include digging her hands into the dirt, conducting amateur science experiments, creating compilations of found objects, and fishing.
Justin Sheehy is a digital artist whose work explores themes of structure, systems, emergent behavior, and glitch. His primary influences include databending and generative techniques. He is currently a second year MS student in the Visualization Department at Texas A&M University, and works as a developer for his department’s system administrator.
Mallory Snell, a British artist living in Texas and working with both traditional and digital media. She is pursuing an MS in Visualization at Texas A&M University with a concentration in lighting, and plans to graduate in December of 2015. Her work has been has been featured in Viz-a-GoGo, an annual screening/exhibition in Bryan, Texas and she has also been mentioned in the Tomball Potpourri newspaper.
James Storey is a digital artist interested in exploring the secret life of machines, systems and digital computers. He is a 1st year MS student in the Visualization Department of Texas A&M University, and lead game developer for the Visualization department's Learning Interactive Visualization Experience (LIVE) lab.
Krista Steinke (co-curator) is a lensbased artist, educator, and independent curator who lives in the Houston area. Past curatorial projects include “RE:Generate RE: Image RE: Focus” (Payne Gallery, Moravian College, PA), “Spectrum: Works from Photo Professors of the Lehigh Valley” (part of the 2012 Invision Photo Festival, PA), and “Finders and Keepers” (A Participating Space for 2014 Fotofest, Houston). Her own work has been widely exhibited and published nationally, as well as internationally and is represented in major public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Woodmere Museum in Philadelphia, Johnson & Johnson, and Fidelity Investments. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University.
Sherman Finch (co-curator) is a multi-media artist who works in both traditional and digital media, with a special emphasis in the area of Creative Interaction and Sonification. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and two Master’s degrees from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. His work has been exhibited, performed, and screened at venues such as Artscape (Baltimore), School of the Visual Arts (NYC), Art Interactive Gallery (Boston), Sarai Media Lab (New Delhi), New Museum of Art (Detroit), New Century Artist Space (NYC), 500x (Dallas), among other places. He is a member of the collaborative group, The AKA Collective, co-founder of the LIVE lab, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University. Sherman grew up in Texas and after a 20-something year hiatus, he is excited to be back in the Houston area where he lives with his wife (Krista Steinke) and his two kids.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M’s DEPARTMENT OF VISUALIZATION:
The Department of Visualization and its Viz Lab is a unique environment that explores the intersection of art, science and technology. Currently, in the United States there is an initiative to encourage STEM in education (an acronym referring to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The Department of Visualization advocates changing STEM into STEAM by adding the field of Art as a major component to this nationwide mission.
The area of Visualization is inherently interdisciplinary and draws core concepts from art, design, computer science, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, and psychology, among other areas of human endeavor.
ABOUT FRESH ARTS:
Fresh Arts is 501[c] nonprofit organization committed to supporting and inspiring artists, strengthening Houston’s arts organizations and creative community and deepening public participation in the arts.
Fresh Arts | Arts Resource Center
Winter Street Studios | 2101 Winter Street, B11 | Houston, TX 77007