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Cross-campus collaboration results in unique rotating sculpture at Evansdale Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 6th, 2017

An interactive sculpture on display at West Virginia University’s Evansdale Library is the result of the Community Engagement in Science through Art program, which has assembled a team of artists, chemists and engineers from WVU and three other universities.

“CESTA gives its participants the unique opportunity to collaborate with others from very different viewpoints to create an original project. I don’t know of anything else like it,” said Todd Hamrick, assistant professor of engineering, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

The CESTA 2017 teams includes WVU students Trevor Brison, engineering; Cornelius Hugo, sculpture; and Umida Nurjanova, computer science; Owen Phillips, chemistry, Georgetown University; Eric Schreiber, chemistry, The College of New Jersey; and Bridget Stamp, sculpture, Kent State University.

The CESTA 2017 students include Cornelius Hugo (WVU, sculpture), Eric Schreiber (The College of New Jersey, chemistry), Bridget Stamp (Kent State University, sculpture), Owen Phillips (Georgetown University, chemistry), Trevor Brison (WVU, engineering), and Umida Nurjanova (WVU, computer science).

Overseeing the project, along with Hamrick, are Jessica Hoover, an assistant professor of Chemistry, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and Jason Lee, an associate professor sculpture, College of Creative Arts.

The students (two chemists, two engineers and two artists) worked collaboratively for the month of June to design and construct an interactive science-art installation, “Object D4h,” which they installed on the second floor of Evansdale Library.

“Object D4h,” a rotating, 6’ x 3’ x 6’ metal and plastic sculpture, explores symmetry, and was designed to be an abstracted representation of a molecule synthesized by Hoover’s research group. A detailed background narrative on the website outlines the group’s design and research process.

“It was a pleasure to work with these scientific artists and artistic scientists. I’m so glad we’re hosting their amazing sculpture, D4h, at Evansdale Library, and that they’ve made such an excellent website to go with it at,” Creative Arts Librarian Beth Royall said.

The CESTA program is funded by Hoover’s National Science Foundation CAREER award, as the outreach component of the research grant.  The goals of the program are to engage the community in chemistry through art and to teach WVU science, engineering, and art students to work and communicate effectively across fields.

CESTA students install “Object D4h” at Evansdale Library.

The exhibits are part of WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries initiative. The sculpture will remain installed at Evansdale Library throughout the 2017-18 school year, until the next CESTA program in June, 2018.

See the work on view during Evansdale Library’s summer hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-9 p.m. For more information, visit the project’s blog and the CESTA website.

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