WORCESTER, Mass. - An exhibit of artwork under way at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) showcases the creativity of its students and the partnership between art and technology as part of the university’s new Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) major.
WPI’s George C. Gordon Library is hosting a free exhibit in the new George E. Gladwin Art Gallery, located on the library’s second floor. The display, which was launched Nov. 2 and ends Friday, Dec. 15, includes works by undergraduate students from the WPI art class "Essentials of Art." The course was developed as part of the IMGD major program, which was launched in fall 2005. The first major of its kind in the United States, the program blends the artistic and technical aspects of game creation and interactive media, allowing students to concentrate in either area at the same institution. It is jointly administered by WPI’s Computer Science and Humanities and Arts departments. The major’s faculty members hail from both departments (see www.wpi.edu/+IMGD).
"This eclectic exhibit is the first of what I hope to be many shows where students and the WPI community can showcase their artistic creativity," says Rodney Obien, curator of special editions and archives at the Gordon Library. “The Gladwin Art Gallery was established specifically to provide the community with an artistic venue."
The gallery, which opened this fall, honors the memory of WPI’s first professor of drawing, George E. Gladwin (1829-1920), a member of WPI’s original faculty who was beloved by students. In WPI’s early days the name George Gladwin meant much to the city’s blacksmiths, boot makers, and other tradesmen who prized his instruction in evening education classes he taught after the Civil War in conjunction with the Worcester School Committee.
In addition to developing their drawing skills, WPI students have had numerous opportunities to explore artistic creativity over the years through the university’s diverse and active music and theatre programs, which have become well-known elements of the city’s cultural landscape, and through student projects that solved problems for numerous cultural and arts organizations.
A series of projects for the Worcester Art Museum, for example, helped the museum uncover the history of an ancient Greek statute. WPI students brought their enthusiasm and curiosity, and the university contributed its expertise and technology -- from X-ray diffraction to chemical analysis -- to the quest. Students have completed projects for other museums and other cultural institutions as far away as London and Venice. These projects have included the development of exhibits, research on historical artifacts, and the development of new techniques and technologies for restoration.
"Creativity is a hallmark of the students, faculty, and staff of WPI. Creativity can be seen in the ways problems are solved and how technology is developed and implemented," Obien says. "The exhibit serves as an expression of the diverse creativity that exists at WPI."
The following undergraduate students have art on display in the Gladwin Gallery through Dec. 15: Dana Asplund, Bryant Eisenbach, Donald Gaxho, Evan Graziano, Tiffany Lufkin, Adam Nakama, Daimen Rigden, Laura Rosato, Sally Saba, Alexandra Sanseverino, Prawal Man Shrestha, Andrew Yee, Mary Yovina.