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Art takes on STEM in new museum installation

Applied Arts Mag
December 12, 2017

Art takes on science history in a new 100 foot wide by 17 foot high interactive mural installation at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.

The museum re-opened last month after a three-year overhaul. The closure allowed not only for building repairs, but also for the museum to begin rolling out a new mandate that follows the STEAM approach, incorporating art into the traditional STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) model.

“We wanted to set the stage and let people know that art and creativity lead to cross-disciplinary work,” says Christina Tessier, director general of the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM).

The installation, spanning a long, previously blank wall that greets visitors when they enter the museum, represents CSTM’s new narrative—that art has a key place in the world of science and technology. “We wanted to use this space not to just show an exhibition, but our vision on tech and innovation,” says Tessier. “It’s now a lobby befitting a national museum.”

CSTM commissioned Ottawa-based digital artist Eric Chan, also known as eepmon, to produce the piece, called “Yours to Discover,” alongside Tanya Woods, chief impact officer of social media start-up Kind Village. Chan, who is known for his vivid digital illustrations, approached the mural with same goal he had for his fashion collaborations with Canada Goose and New York streetwear company RIME—to connect analogue elements with technology. He used digital vector artwork to fabricate physical materials for the wall, covering major aspects of natural and human innovation, from the Big Bang to the invention of the Canadarm to how humans may one day live in space.

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