Math Meets Art in Atrium Sculpture

The placement of the sculpture was determined with an eye to its visual impact and its congruity with the atrium's infrastructure. Once the balloons were positioned, coordinate measurements were taken so that Facilities Operations can prepare to hang the finished pieces, which will each weigh nearly 50 pounds.Large balloons offered a glimpse of still-bigger things to come, as faculty from Albion's Math and Art departments met in the Science Complex atrium with George Hart, a mathematics professor and artist from State University of New York-Stony Brook. Hart is designing a mathematically-themed installation for the atrium, a set of nine geometric sculptures, which will hang in a sweeping arc across the atrium.

"They'll be bright colors, really beautiful," said mathematics professor Darren Mason, who, along with art professor Gary Wahl and Math/Computer Science department chair David Reimann, spent the morning helping Hart place the stand-in balloons in the atrium. The group arranged the balloons so that some part of the eventual sculpture will be visible from every window onto the atrium, one even visible from the corner of Michigan and Hannah Streets.

Mason (with balloon) assists Hart with measuring the string length.Mason (with balloon) assists Hart with measuring the string length.In his New York studio, Hart is finalizing the design of the thousands of pieces that will comprise the sculptures. The individual pieces will be made of aluminum and locally fabricated at Caster Concepts. "It'll be kind of like a barn-raising," said Reimann, noting that Hart will bring the pieces to Albion and then direct volunteers in assembling the sculptures onsite. Albion High School and Washington Gardner Middle School math faculty will bring their students to help assemble the sculptures along with Albion College math students and other members of the College community. "This project is another way we're tying the community into what we're doing here at the College," said Reimann.

The sculpture assembly and installation are expected to be held in September.