HEMI: Artistic Interpretation

December 2, 2016
Cubed meteorite sample on a fingertip.

MICA Photography Professor Jay Gould captured this image of a meteorite sample used for testing by HEMI researchers.

Jay Gould, a professor of photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art, traded his Mount Vernon studio for space in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Malone Hall in 2016 as the first Artist-in-Residence for the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute.

The result: A large-scale art exhibit including photographs that depict the artist’s interpretation of extreme materials. One example is a photograph of a meteorite balancing on the tip of a human finger. Gould will discuss his work Friday, from 3 to 4 p.m., in Malone Hall, to be followed by an Extreme Arts Open House hosted by HEMI.

The program, part of an initiative launched in 2015 called the HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program, aims at fostering collaboration between the two Baltimore anchor institutions. Gould’s entire exhibit will be on display at the MSE Library Gallery in April 2017. “Interdisciplinary conversation leads to new ideas and experiences that benefit everyone, from the artists to the researchers and students, as well as the public,” he says.

Gould spent six months getting a feel for the HEMI environment and capturing it via his camera lens and other artistic mediums. His interest in the Extreme Arts Program stemmed from a natural curiosity surrounding science and engineering that he’s had since childhood.

“The common ground between art and science is that outsiders see a polished end result,” says Gould, “whereas the workers know the nitty-gritty details and failures of a working process.”

HEMI Associate Director Lori Graham-Brady and Gwynne Keathley, MICA’s Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, designed the program to provide an internship for students as well as an Artist-in-Residence program for faculty members.

HEMI Director K.T. Ramesh long has supported the integration of art and engineering and is known on Homewood campus for requiring his PhD students to submit an artistic interpretation of their research (anything from poems to painting to dance) along with their book-long theses.

To date, four MICA student interns have completed projects over two summers in areas such as animation and materials design, and Gould completed his term as the first Artist-in-Residence this spring.

Gould’s Artist in Residency period will result in the exhibition of his work, the production of a printed piece for HEMI to showcase/distribute, and an installation of some of his work in Malone Hall.

“Stepping into a professional, science environment can be an exciting and daunting task for an artist, “ says Gould. “But HEMI was incredibly supportive, enthusiastic and inspiring throughout the entire collaboration.”

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