UMOCA Art Truck 2014-2015: Meridith Pingree, tessellations, and a lot of pipe cleaners
As the Art Truck gears up for a brand new art exhibit and another year of visiting eager students and teachers across the Salt Lake Valley—and now even across the state of Utah!—it’s the perfect time to look back at the fabulous ongoing project created by Art Truck visitors over the past year.
Inspired by featured artist Meridith Pingree’s patterned sculptures and drawings that are both geometric and organic, visitors from ages five to 85 collaborated on a pattern of their own. Each person formed a single shape using a pipe cleaner, and then combined their shape with ones already on the wall to build a colorful, ever-changing spider web.
Upon adding their pieces, visitors learned about tessellations, which are patterns of repeating identical polygons that have no overlaps or gaps (think of the hexagons that form a honeycomb design). In addition to art, tessellations are frequently used in science, technology and engineering, such as designing computer graphics to aid in research or building a structure that is both functional and beautiful. As in Pingree’s artwork, the idea of the tessellation pattern informed the structure of the Art Truck’s pipe cleaner collaboration, but the individuality of each shape brought out imperfections and variations.
In the fall, spring and summer, the art outreach program visited 66 schools and public venues from Spanish Fork to Ogden and virtually every neighborhood in between. Over 13,000 K-12 students, parents, teachers and festival-goers viewed Pingree’s artwork, chatted with our staff and volunteers, and participated in the community tessellation. That’s a lot of pipe cleaners!
To find out what Art Truck visitors will get to create next, for more information about the upcoming exhibition by Mary Toscano, and to view a schedule of public appearances visit utahmoca.org/art-truck. To schedule a visit at your school, contact Education Coordinator Elly Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-328-4201 x 124.
About the Art Truck
The only traveling educational art exhibit of its kind in Utah, the UMOCA Art Truck brings exciting and accessible contemporary art, created by leading local and national artists, directly to schools and community venues across the state. Each on-site visit by the Art Truck includes the expertise of a trained museum educator who leads students through a meaningful exploration of the current exhibition. Teachers are provided with structured lesson plans to supplement their tour and incorporate the Art Truck more deeply into their curriculum.
Please consider a donation to UMOCA and support educational outreach programs like the Art Truck, which encourages creativity, exploration, and accessibility.