To Generate STEAM, Add Equal Amounts of Art

Arts in the region “brings us closer to our neighbors on the other side of the bridge,” ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam said. “Artists love to draw the bridge: it’s symbolic of connections and metaphorically working together.”

Connecting Westchester and Rockland/© Janie Rosman 2014

Connecting Westchester and Rockland/© Janie Rosman 2014

Formerly known as the Council for the Arts in Westchester, the state’s largest, not-for-profit service organization — founded in 1965 by a group of visionary private citizens and public officials — is halfway toward building 50 new partnerships with local businesses for its milestone anniversary next year.

“I love partnering with other arts organizations,” Langsam said, referring to ArtsWestchester collaborating with local creative voices in the 2014 Bridge Art Show. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with other arts groups.”

Besides supporting the arts, Langsam felt, partnering with companies “promotes innovative thinking and creativity in the workplace, strengthens community engagement and increases the vibrancy of places to live and work.”

"A New Dialect" by Lise Prown and Curt Belshe/© Lise Prown

“A New Dialect” by Lise Prown and Curt Belshe/© Lise Prown

One current exhibit, “STEAM: STEM + ARTS,” an outgrowth of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math movement incorporating the arts and its role in teaching creative thinking.

Curated by artist and educator Patricia Miranda, STEAM is divided loosely into four categories — poetic, scientific, technological, environmental — ranging from poetic use of technology to context about technology: interactive installations, and immense diversity within the show.

“People think artists are alone in their studios when, in reality, they’re deeply engaged in the issues of our day,” Miranda said. “Many are in scientific and technology fields, or learning a new technology (for their art), digital mapping or interactive software.”

"November Calm"/© Tom Sobolik

“November Calm”/© Tom Sobolik

Sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Tarrytown to mark its 25th anniversary in Westchester, STEAM is a collaboration between ArtsWestchester and the Westchester Community College Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill Extension, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

“Thirty-one artists are participating, all of whom have some background in science and math,” Langsam said. “Kids need to focus on science and math, and we hope what without losing the benefit of the arts, we can be helpful in steering kids, and teachers, in that direction.”

“I find it exciting that the pharmaceutical company is working with ArtsWestchester on this exhibit, which further highlights the relationship between science and art,” Miranda said. “It’s interesting to me, since I incorporate some of these ideas into my teaching.”

"Divining Nature" by Rebecca Kamen/© Angie Seckinger

“Divining Nature” by Rebecca Kamen/© Angie Seckinger

The second and fourth pictures are from the exhibit STEAM.

“Each in its own way, art and science stimulate creativity and innovation — both of which are at the core of Regeneron’s approach to discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing new medicines for serious unmet medical needs.” — George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. through August 16, 2014. At its close, selected pieces will be shown on the Regeneron campus in Tarrytown.

Named in 1975 by Westchester County as its designated arts council, ArtsWestchester provides grants and technical support to cultural organizations and artist residencies in the community. Earlier this year, it received two $1 million federal grants to train art teachers in the Mt. Vernon public schools, and to teach STEM through the arts.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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