ArtPrize Nine project showcases STEM in art

ArtPrize Nine, STEAM Village, Switch, ArtPrize HUB
A robot draws at the STEAM Village powered by Switch at the ArtPrize HUB for ArtPrize Nine. (Sept. 18, 2017)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We’ve all heard of STEM: science, technology, engineering and math education. One exhibition at ArtPrize Nine is showing you how those subjects are entwined with art.

Behind the beauty, the innovation and the creativity of art is a lot of planning, information and calculating.

ArtPrize Nine, STEAM Village, Switch, ArtPrize HUB
The STEAM Village powered by Switch at the ArtPrize HUB for ArtPrize Nine. (Sept. 18, 2017)

“Really, the arts and creativity drive innovation, so you can’t have STEM without the A,” Becca Guyette, director of education for ArtPrize, said.

That led to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Village powered by Switch inside the ArtPrize HUB. Guyette and her crew — who she said all have STEM-related careers — have found ways to incorporate STEM into the ArtPrize experience.

They’re using virtual reality so visitors can experience last year’s public vote and juried award winners the way they were meant to be seen: in three dimensions.

ArtPrize Nine, STEAM Village, Switch, ArtPrize HUB
24 Hour News 8’s Emily Linnert at the STEAM Village powered by Switch at the ArtPrize HUB for ArtPrize Nine. (Sept. 18, 2017)

Visitors can also check and control out a drawing robot created by high school students from Grand Rapids Public Schools, East Kentwood High School and a Flint-area school.

“They (the students) come in every day to do maintenance and troubleshoot, too, if there’s any issues. That’s really part of this whole process,” Guyette said.

A project by Casey Newberg, who says she’s best described as a metalsmith, walks visitors through the entire process from idea to structure. Taking people’s ideas and making them a reality with the help of a computer program, a 3-D printer, primer and sanding shows the visitor how her art couldn’t come to reality without science, technology, engineering and math.

“I think it’s really important to know that art is one of the things that can go hand-in-hand with technology, engineering and science and those things are not binary and they can definitely go together,” she said.

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