Where the Arts Meet Physics


Where the Arts Meet Physics, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.
Where the Arts Meet Physics, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.


Where the Arts Meet Physics, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.
Where the Arts Meet Physics, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.


On view
Apr 13, 2017 to Apr 20, 2017
Lower Level, Classroom Studio

The universe is an extraordinary place. At the cosmic scale, the universe expands, galaxies form and swirl around their centers, stars ignite into being and undergo fiery deaths, and massive objects set off gravitational ripples in space-time.

At the planetary scale, Newtonian mechanics dictates the path of orbits around the Sun, a beautiful planet called Earth harbors life, rivers flow from calmness to turbulence. At the microscopic scale, the laws of quantum physics defy imagination, atoms together form complex building blocks of matter, and under ultra-cold conditions, quantum states of matter exhibit beguiling emergent behavior.

In the project-based course Phys498-Art, Where the Arts meet Physics, the class explored this extraordinary place under three umbrellas – the Universe, Fluids and Flow, and the Quantum World. Collaborators, guest presenters, and consultants across campus shared their expertise on these topics and a wide spectrum of the arts. The class adapted diverse artistic media to bring their explorations alive; you are warmly invited to experience the world they created.

Instructor and Creator of Course: Prof. Smitha Vishveshwara, Dept. of Physics

Class participants: Claire Baum, Latrelle Bright, Carolyn Kan, Sean Lang, Eva Miller, Hannah Morsch, Karmela Padavic, Kaliroe Pappas, Andrew Parpart, Matthew Quiroz, Napat Saengthongsrikamol, Grace Sun, Maddie Terlap, Smitha Vishveshwara, Xiuting Wu, Kaan Yumlu

Collaborators: Latrelle Bright (Theater); Sharlene Denos (University Laboratory High School); Kirstie Simson (Dance); Stuart Shapiro (Physics); Rebecca Wiltfong (Physics); Jamie Nelson (Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning); Claire Baum (Society for Women in Physics)

Course Guests and Consultants: from the Department of Physics: Brian Leeds DeMarco, Bryce Gadway, Jeffrey Filippini, Taylor Hughes, Paul Kwiat, Mats Selen, Dale Van Harlingen; from the Department of Landscape Architecture: David Hays

Exhibition sponsored in part by the Department of Physics, Materials Research Laboratory, Grainger Library—IDEA Lab, and Krannert Art Museum

Kinkead Pavilion entrance photographed at sunset. Hive, two lighted sculptures, fill the space symmetrically. Each is pink with a conical structure built of stacked inflated orbs with a long braid that reaches ceiling to floor.
  1. Jan 30, 2020 to May 16, 2021
Image of a gallery with home furnishings, colored lights, and a painted "Art Studio" sign. Two Black women sit a table beneath the sign to welcome young people to the gallery for studio art days.
  1. Aug 27, 2020 to Jul 3, 2021
gallery view of entry wall of Art Since 1948 with the exhibition title text and art from the museum's modern and contemporary collection.
  1. Oct 3, 2020 to Aug 26, 2021