Melding Art and Science while Engaging Students
By David Ogul
“Cal State San Marcos is a wonderful place to teach because the university creates a community of thinkers and creators without boundaries.”
– Lucy HG Solomon
Her interdisciplinary works have been exhibited in galleries ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles to the Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre in Ireland. An art and science collective she founded, The League of Imaginary Scientists, has developed interactive content for more than 50 projects around the world. A recent crowdsourcing effort of theirs – The Social Cinema Machine – was featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
And since the fall of 2015, Lucy HG Solomon has been bringing her hybrid world of art and science to the School of Arts at Cal State San Marcos as an Assistant Professor of Media Design.
“Cal State San Marcos is a wonderful place to teach because the university creates a community of thinkers and creators without boundaries, in that ideas from students and professors intermingle, and students shape the outcome as much as their professors,” said Solomon, whose work focuses on the interaction between art and the environment and deftly melds scientific exploration with play.
Since arriving at CSUSM, Solomon has been honored by CYPHER International with a Changer Maker Award for integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in the classroom, along with an Energy, Efficiency, and Sustainability Best Practices Award for Sustainability in Academics.
Solomon’s work can be irreverent. Take, for example, Piano for Roly-Polies, which incorporates a computer program to trigger musical notes as a pill millipede ambles across the keys.
“I often integrate a sense of play into the art that I make,” she said. “The most exciting bit is the coming together of viewers of all ages, including schoolchildren and university students, and seeing them explore new concepts through art.”