This past weekend I made a quick jaunt up to White Plains, NY to see STEAM at the Arts Westchester exhibition space on Mamaroneck Avenue. Since the show closes this Saturday, I clearly don’t expect many people reading this to change their weekend plans and re-route to Westchester County north of NYC. That said, if you do find yourself in NYC, it’s a quick ride from Grand Central on the Metro-North Harlem line, and it’s worth the trip.
I spent a few hours with the works by 31 artists and makers on view, expecting to see some familiar interpretations of ‘STEAM’ and surprised by others I wasn’t expecting. I won’t go over all the works, but given my own training I am clearly more aligned with the ‘A’ in STEAM than only the STEM fields. Arts for me provide that “aha!” or wow-factor or whatever you want to call it, that gets my mind thinking above and beyond the purely scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical attributes of the world. From Leonardo to The Bean, arts can be STEM-inspired but ultimately have their own imaginative properties that no other field of study provides. Arts encompass multiple fields of study, and to me there’s no debate: STEAM is the way to go.
Works in STEAM range from a few flat wall art pieces, to giant wall-sized installations. From interactive sculptures to interventions in laboratories documented on video. Several approaches to projection arts are on view. And of course a few works combined technology, sound, light, and sculpture all in one. Those are really special.
Also not shown is a projection on a pinhead, an interactive staircase with an embedded audio experience, layered photographs of nature reclaiming architecture, Kinect-based heat projection mapping, sandblasted glass sculptures, and much more. Like I said, if you can get there by this Saturday consider a trip to Arts Westchester. If not, look for more maker-influenced and Maker Faire-inspired art shows in your town. It almost begs a whole new taxonomy of art-making, like how a photographer uses photographs or a painter uses paint. What is maker art?
Artists in the exhibition: Kristin Anderson, Lisa Crafts, Scott Fitzgerald, Matt Frieburghaus, Kathy High, Carter Hodgkin, Katherine Jackson, Claudia Jacques, Chris Jordan, Chris Kaczmarek, Rebecca Kamen, Adrienne Klein, Deborah Krikun, Martin Kruck, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Nora Ligorano and Marshal Reese, Chris Manzione, Sherry Mayo, William Meyer, Maria Michails, Rebecca Mushtare, Patricia Olynyk, Debra Pearlman, Curt Belshe & Lise Prown, Evan Read, Philippe Safire, Jeff Taylor, Carl Van Brunt, April Vollmer