by Nicole Royse
Tempe Center for the Art’s summer exhibition STEAM brings together the worlds of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in an exciting and captivating exhibition.
“STEAM is a movement inspired by the popularity of STEM -based education”, states TCA Curator Michelle Nichols-Dock. The exhibition highlights a variety of art including painting, wood burning, sculpture, photography, as well as interactive displays and features an eclectic array of local artists including Monica Aissa Martinez, Alexandria Bowers, Madison Creech, Frank Gonzales, Molly Koehn and Ellen McMahon, just to name a few!
Striking casein and egg tempera paintings on the inner workings of the human body created by Monica Aissa Martinez greet patrons as they enter the exhibition. Next, a dazzling collection of wood burned insect studies by Alexandra Bowers are surrounded by the large-scale photography of various insect species created by Charles Kazilek. Frank Gonzales has created beautiful acrylic paintings of birds, flowers and cacti blending together realism and artificiality created by utilizing reference sources.
This exhibition explores the connections between these wonderful diverse disciplines while “highlighting the individuals who are using the various disciplines to transform and make better the lives of everyday people” states Dock. Seamlessly blending together artworks with technology and science displays, the TCA has once again partnered with ASU bringing fascinating insect collections ranging in species from the Hasbrouck Insect Collection, as well as an extensive collection of vintage cameras. Also highlighted in STEAM is engineering giving patrons the opportunity to view photographs, plans, models and historical data about the Tempe Town Lake and the Dam construction.
A series of free family workshops are being offered in conjunction with the exhibition as part of the “Maker Cafe” on Saturdays from 12-2 PM in the Gallery. Looking for some adults only fun? Then head to TCA on July 22 for “S.T.E.A.M.-Y Ladies Night Out” hosted by artist Cyndi Coon and scientist Catherine Seiler who will give a great science talk about diatoms plus draw your own mini “Cellfies.”
On July 23 create your very own cardboard tube Pinhole Camera with TCA staff while learning about optics. Visitors can enjoy a demonstration and partake in some Lego fun building a load-bearing bridge on August 5th when they welcome a “Lego Master Builder from Tempe’s new Legoland Discovery Center.
There is still plenty of time to explore STEAM, which will be on display until September 17th and is proudly sponsored by APS. Tempe Center for the Arts is located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe and is open Tuesday through Thursday 10-5 PM, Friday’s 10-7:30 PM and Saturday’s 11-5 PM. More information about this exhibition and upcoming can be found online at the Tempe Center for the Arts.