Volunteers, Spectators Invited to "Barn-Raising" Sculpture Build

Paper model of one piece of the nine-piece sculpture to be assembled and hung in Albion College's Science Atrium.Paper model of one piece of the nine-piece sculpture to be assembled and hung in Albion College's Science Atrium.ALBION, Mich. — Thousands of metal pieces transform into one geometric sculpture comprised of nine beautiful orbs, as Albion College's Math/Computer Science and Art & Art History departments invite volunteers to a "barn raising" sculpture build on Saturday, September 13, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Anyone who can put a nut on a screw is invited to come for any length of time, during that time, to Albion College's Science Complex atrium, located at the corner of East Michigan and Hannah streets in Albion.

"It's a chance to be a part of Albion College history," says Math/Computer Science department chair Dave Reimann, explaining that the nine sculptures, each more than four feet in diameter, will be on permanent exhibit, hanging from the atrium ceiling. "This is a great way to see the connections between mathematics and art. The ability to touch the parts as they go together gives you a real sense of the underlying geometry."

"This is one of those times when you are invited not only to touch the art and but also be part of its making," noted art professor Gary Wahl, expanding Reimann's idea. "The complexity of these forms requires many hands working side by side."

The sculpture was commissioned from mathematician/artist George Hart, a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University and a successful fine artist. Hart's sculptures are based on his academic research on polyhedral structures and algorithms. His sculptures have been collected by individuals and museums, and he has created pieces for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, and Princeton University, among others.

"One element of George's work that sets it apart from others is his use of the community as active agents of its creation … he forms an immediate bond between the work and its locale.
 Wahl continued. "Those who participate will have the satisfaction of being part of the process and the benefit of meeting the artist and gaining insight into the sculpture's meaning and structure. They will become ambassadors for the art and the underlying math."

Caster Concepts of Albion manufactured the aluminum sculpture components, and Finishing Touch of Litchfield did the powder coating. "This sculpture really is a local effort," Reimann noted.

Immediately following the sculpture build, the finished pieces will be hung in the atrium.

This project is made possible in part by an Albion College Faculty Development grant, with a goal to substantially enhance the collaborative climate between art, mathematics, and computer science on the Albion College campus. The generous financial support of alumni and other friends of the department was also vital to this project. Reimann, Wahl and math professor Darren Mason developed and direct the project.

Volunteers and spectators are welcome to come at any time, for any length of time; large groups are asked to RSVP in advance if possible. To RSVP or for more information, contact the Mathematics and Computer Science Department office at 517/629-0301 or .

Related Web information:
Math Meets Art in Atrium Sculpture (AlbionView story)
George Hart's Web page