ECA News Briefs

Students Explore Science of Natural World While Building Large Sculptural Installations

A new sculpture has emerged in a public space in Annapolis. It was built by the students from Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program in Studio 39. Every afternoon, whether it was sunny or snowing, they grabbed the power tools and worked on the large wooden structure outside of their building.

They collaborated with artist Peter Krsko, who studies nature and shares his findings through art projects. The installation in Annapolis is intended to be a unique environment inviting the viewers to walk in and contemplate the organic geometry and their relationship with the living surroundings.

This form of bioinspired art is strongly connected to science and engineering. The form emerges from the basic characteristic of the material that the students are working with. Pine lath is a traditional building material for creating plaster walls. However, the strength comes from its elasticity that is inherited from the trees they were milled from. Krsko recovers unwanted lumber from construction sites, cuts it into thin slats and returns it back into its original organic form.

Besides assisting in the fabrication process, the students also explored the world of science and new methods used for seeing nature in a completely new way. Krsko hopes to ignite passion for studying nature, questioning everything, and realizing the strong relationship our society has with the living environment around us.

Studio 39 is a creative and performing space for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Programs. Opened in February of 2015 Studio 39 provides PVA students access to facilities that provide students who demonstrate artistic ability, interest and potential a curriculum of rigorous training that emphasizes the creative process through collaborative opportunities.

Peter Krsko is an artist / scientist who creates collaborative and community public art, such as sculptures and murals, inspired by biological concepts of diversity, differentiation, participation and symbiosis. His murals and sculptural installations mimic the structure and form as well as the dynamics and laws of interactions among members of the natural ecosystems.

In 2006, while working on a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Materials Science, Krsko discovered a way to use a traditional scanning electron microscope as a focused electron beam lithography instrument, enabling him to create artwork viewable only with a microscope.

After receiving his degree, Krsko was awarded a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where his interests expanded into medically-relevant biological communities, bacterial biofilms, bioinspired materials, colors and vision and the combination of science and art in order to develop unique lesson plans for young students. He continues providing educational services to schools, summer camps, after-school programs and correctional facilities today.

The recent projects include a semester-long residency at University of Wisconsin – Madison that culminated in multiple public sculptures related to the one at Studio 39, a major exhibit in Olbrich Botanical Gardens and a series of three large-scale community murals in Takoma Park, MD.

(via Krsko Creative Group and Studio 39. Photo courtesy of Krsko Creative Group and Studio 39.)