I spent even longer than usual at the JMM Mathematical Art Exhibit this year. In the back left corner of the exhibit hall, there are 107 different pieces by over 70 different artists. There is “math that is pretty,” “art that looks like math,” and a whole range of pieces that truly hybridize the two disciplines in ways I can’t totally categorize. I can’t possibly show all the great pieces in one post, but luckily a full catalog of the art can be found here.
Andrew Smith, Mathematical Artist and instructor at the University of Waterloo created two lovely pieces using spirals formed by joining an equal-length side from each regular n-gon as n increases. These “protogons” have some magic-eye properties; the design in “Central Protogon” seems to move as a viewer moves closer or farther away.
Clayton Shonkwiler, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Colorado State University, created the video “Rotation” and the print “My Destination,” illustrating two mathematical explorations in hyperbolic space.
More that I liked:
The art show includes a prize competition. Entries were judged based on:
- Mathematical depth and sophistication,
- Aesthetic appeal,
- Originality and innovation, and
- Overall interest.
The top entry in the textile, sculpture or other medium category was the stunning “Torus” by Jiangmei Wu. This sculpture was folded from a single sheet of uncut paper and is lit from within by small lightbulbs.
An honorable mention went to Mary Klotz, a Maryland/West Virginia artist, for “AABB, two juxtapositions: Starts and Tadpoles, Dots and Triceratops.” Her two weavings follow identical patterns with different starting colors.
The top photograph, painting or print was “Fractal Monarchs” by Doug Dunham and John Shier of the University of Minnesota Duluth. The areas of the butterflies are determined by a formula involving the Hurwitz zeta function.