Clemson University to bring together art and technology at Artisphere 2014

April 30, 2014

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CLEMSON – One of Artisphere 2014’s largest exhibits will show how Clemson University is bringing together technology and art to create cars, movie special effects and 3D computer programs, while inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and artists.

The College of Engineering and Science will have a major exhibit at Artisphere for the first time in the festival’s 10-year history.

The tent measures 40-by-120 feet and will be at the corner of Broad and Main streets in downtown Greenville.

This year’s festival goes from May 9-11.

Anand Gramopadhye, the college’s dean, said Clemson’s exhibit will offer a unique presence that allows visitors to explore how technology and art can lead to playful innovation.

“We often find the most unusual and inspiring creativity at the intersection of different disciplines,” he said. “We’re excited to give people hands-on experience that will leave them inspired.”

The exhibit is called the “Clemson University STEAM Tent: Exploring Technology and Art.” STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“I am really excited about the addition of Clemson’s STEAM Exhibit to this year’s festival programming,” said Kerry Murphy, Artisphere’s executive director.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance the patron experience, and this exhibit offers something that’s both innovative and unique.”

The college’s exhibit won’t be the only Clemson presence at Artisphere this year. Art students and alumni representing the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts and the Department of Art will also be featured at the festival under the tent as well as under a separate tent located on Art Demonstration Row. These students and alumni will be giving demonstrations in ceramics, printmaking and creating art using technology.

“At Clemson, we believe that creative collaboration between different areas of the University is crucial to our success,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and member of the Artisphere Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to see art and science working together so beautifully and with such imagination.”

Highlights under the STEAM Tent include:

CU-ICAR: Deep Orange

Visitors will have a chance to see a concept car created by students.

Graduate students seeking degrees in automotive engineering build a new prototype vehicle each year at the Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).

What may come as a surprise, though, is that the engineering challenge begins with students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

The art-center students create the initial design and work closely with engineers to refine it.

Digital Production Arts

Students will show animated works throughout the weekend and share their experiences with the Clemson program Digital Production Arts (DPA).

The program combines artistic skill and technical expertise to create dramatic visual effects for film, television and games. Alumni have worked on several hit movies, including “Frozen.”

Students in the program explore digital animation and 3D graphics.

DPA schedule: Friday 2-4 p.m., 7-8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 3-5 p.m., 7-8 p.m.; Sunday 1-3 p.m.

Creative Movement

Visitors will learn a sequence of steps in real life and then program a computer character to do the same as part of what researchers call VENVI, or “virtual environment interactions.” The activity involves a full-size dance floor.

Research suggests that moving the body can help students learn, a concept known as “embodied cognition.”

A Clemson team has begun a research project that seeks to answer some of the questions that surround the concept, while inspiring fifth- and sixth-grade girls to study computer science and other technological fields in which women are underrepresented.

VENVI Creative movement sessions: Friday 4:30-6:30pm; Saturday 1 -3 p.m., 5-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-5 p.m.


Viewers will step into a dark room with a glowing box of water containing moving silhouettes.

When the viewer touches the water, their actions will be recorded until they remove their hands.

The silhouette of each participant will then be played over top of the rest of the silhouettes and the viewer will become part of the piece. It was designed by Nate Newsome, a Clemson Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate and Ph.D. student.


Clemson’s outreach program, Emagine, will be hosting workshops for K-12 students throughout the weekend, providing hands-on projects that combine design and engineering in an applied context.

Emagine Workshops: Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 11a.m.-3 p.m., 4-8 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.


Highlights under the Center for Visual Arts located on Art Demonstration Row:


A group of selected Clemson Master of Fine Arts graduate candidate students will be demonstrating several ceramic and printmaking techniques throughout the weekend.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about the basic techniques of printmaking and the many techniques, tools and materials used to create art work using a printing press.

The demonstrations in ceramics are designed to show observers how an artist uses clay to create functional art as well as sculptural pieces, using a variety of techniques.


Artisphere attendees are encouraged to use the hashtag #CUArtisphere to share photos displaying hands on interaction with the Clemson University tents.