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Georgia College art and Catawba College technology combine

Georgia College Assistant Professor of Art Matthew Forrest recently visited Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, for a second-stage collaborative act combining art and science.

The intercollegiate collaboration took place throughout spring semester—made possible by Georgia College’s New Innovations Within Art and Science Technologies grant. Forrest reached out to Dr. Tyler W. Davis, a visiting scholar at Catawba College, because of that school’s history with environmental stability.

“Projects like this help form connections between art and other disciplines like environmental engineering and so many others,” Forrest said. “Students not only had the opportunity to work with a world-renowned engineer this spring, but also helped produce public art, tactical art-based prints based off of lidar mapping and so much more.”

This was made possible by a faculty research grant from Georgia College, which helps support projects that look at connections and partnerships like this one, he said.

Davis visited Georgia College in late March and conducted a virtual workshop with 15 students in Forrest’s advanced printmaking class. GIS (Geographic Information System) can be used to visually show contours in land surfaces. He showed students how to make geographic maps, by using color and symbols to give meaning to imagery.

3D cutouts of Georgia College and Catawba College campuses were turned into unique art through process like intaglio, photolithography and screen printing.

Forrest, an internationally-recognized artist and printmaker, was at Catawba April 11 to give a printmaking demonstration to Davis’ intermediate GIS and Field GPS (Global Positioning System) class.

Forrest guided Catawba students in creating two works of art. First, a watercolor screen print of elevated contours shown by GIS of that college’s campus. Next, students explored abstract art and made screen prints of geometric shapes with elevation data from a local preservation area. 

Collaborations like these illustrate the ways students give artistic value to science and place, Forrest said. The resulting artwork was displayed at Catawba College earlier this month and will be in the main hallway at Ennis Hall through May 3.

Senior fine arts major Hannan Grube of Gordon intends to use the tactical-based printing she learned for her capstone research in the fall.

“I never thought of using data from outside sources, like mapping to produce works of art,” Grube said. “I enjoyed working outside the studio and collaborating with students from other institutions.”

Cindy O'Donnell
Media Relations Specialist
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