News: News Archives
Bridge Between Art and Science
in Exhibit at AAAS Galleries
Among the works of art that grace the galleries at AAAS is a floor plan of a space that will someday be dedicated to the performing arts in Bethesda, MD.
It may be surprising to imagine the relationship of a blueprint to the worlds of art and science, but the image is based on a mathematical number sequence inspired by Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th Century mathematician, and the design forms spirals, a labyrinth, a sunflower, and a magnetic field. The Fibonacci Sequence seems to have relevance to patterns that are at the core of all living things.
"The Fibonacci Sequence relates to the growth pattern in nature as well as in children," says Heidi Lippman, the artist who designed the 4,000-foot Terrazzo floor for the Imagination Stage, formerly known as the Bethesda Academy of the Performing Arts.
Lippman is one of 15 local artists from the Washington Metropolitan area who are currently showing their work at AAAS. There are drawings, paintings and pieces of sculpture in the exhibit, which reflect the influences of realist, surrealist, and abstract art. The exhibit also includes several new works of art that AAAS has recently acquired.
The development and actual construction of the floor Lippman designed took four years. It will be open to the public in April at 4908 Auburn Avenue, in downtown Bethesda.
The method used to create the floor is known as terrazzo, a form of mosaic that is composed by embedding shell, mother of pearl, and glass (for texture) in mortar, and then polishing the result. The mathematician who inspired the design replaced Roman numerals with the Arabic-Indian numbers currently in use worldwide, and hence discovered the sequence. The ratio of each pair of numbers and the quantity created when intersecting spirals meet are seen to occur often in nature and its life forms.
Currently on display in the garden level of the AAAS building are two pieces of sculpturenavigational starsby Jeff Andrews. Andrews is also exhibiting two acrylic and pastel paintings, as well as another sculpture. The artist says his work reflects his personal observations and views of constellations and the stars that have traditionally guided navigators.
"Positioning yourself by the stars is an ancient philosophy that is symbolized in my sculpture," says Andrews. Taking personal views and knowledge of the stellar sky ultimately creates very stimulating pieces.
The exhibit opened March 19, 2003, and is available for viewing to the general public 8:30 am - 5:30 pm in the American Association for the Advancement of Science building at 1200 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20005. For more information regarding the show, please contact Shirley Koller, AAAS Exhibit Curator at Shirleyartkoller@metronets.com or the Office of Science and Technology at 202-326-6672.
25 March 2003