Vision for Learning News

Systems and Fractals
Posted 09/22/2016 11:11AM

Joy Kenyon, Amy Story, Agnes Browning, and two classes of Upper School math students recently visited the Swan Coach House Gallery to see their exhibition entitled Systems. The Systems exhibit explores the ways artists Amie Esslinger and Lauren Peterson represent interconnecting networks. Both artists are inspired by hidden worlds and act as scientists in their approach to present them. Amie emulates a microbiologist and explores the microscopic and natural world of cells, while Lauren acts as a archeologist inspired by the macro world of unnatural objects – seemingly trash. While the artists take different approaches to their work, both employ visual graphing, archiving, tagging, numbering, and mapping.

During Lovett’s visit, which was sponsored by the Massey Family Fund, Esslinger was able to relate her artistic approach to the study of fractals. Fractals are designs generated by math functions that have a continuous pattern. Ms. Kenyon’s math students are studying fractals through their "Fractalus" project, which is a cross-curricular project with the Fine Arts department. Students will explore ways of understanding the power, relevance, and beauty of mathematics in the real world. The project is part of Lovett's ongoing work to integrate visual arts with academics, as well as its Education for Sustainability (EfS) work with Jamie Cloud of The Cloud Institute led by Lovett's Director for Sustainability Sandra SwitzerAs the students dive deeper into their work with fractals, they will continue to work with Lovett's Fine Arts department and artist Amie Esslinger to explore how math and art intersect.


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