Latest News: Faculty Engagement Corps Journal Day 2: Homecoming
With a little help from my friends
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Kevin Chamberlain’s art exhibit, “ Insects: A Collection in Multiple Dimensions,” was inspired by nature and personally rewarding thanks to a group of talented preschool students.
Chamberlain, a third-year MFA candidate in ceramics at the University of Iowa, used digital photographs and three-dimensional artistic renderings of specimens from the UI Museum of Natural History’s 100-year-old insect collection in the exhibit. He also employed 3-D scanning, rapid prototyping, plaster molds, ceramics, and mixed media sculptures.
As a 2012 fellow in the Obermann Center’s Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy, Chamberlain designed this exhibit to combine public engagement with science, technology, and art. As part of the project, Chamberlain created 34 three-dimensional large scale models of beetles and invited preschool children at the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City to paint their own creation. The painted models are included in the exhibit.
“My work is very controlled, so it was nice to step back and watch the kids take control of the piece,” Chamberlain says. “My favorite part of the project was the kids’ excitement about what they created. With all of our work together, I had a sense of accomplishment and am very proud of the overall feeling that the show expresses.”
Chamberlain assisted the preschoolers at the Preucil School of Music for two days on their projects.
“What is great about the university is there are so many experts in their fields. It’s great to introduce that to the kids,” says Kirsten Williamson, a preschool teacher at Preucil. “(The experts) are role models for them. The kids are getting to that age where they can start thinking about what they can do when they grow up.
“It’s so great that Kevin valued them as artists. He talked to them like they were valuable artists.”
The exhibit is on display in the UI Pentacrest Museums Gallery for the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences at the Old Capitol Museum through July. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact the Old Capitol Museum at 319-335-0548 or visit www.uiowa.edu/oldcap.