NEST & Firehouse
Jennifer Cole & Amy Hoagland
Nov 2020 – Feb 2021
The Firehouse and NEST are thrilled to announce a new partnership for the upcoming Winter and Summer residencies at the Firehouse. Through this partnership with NEST the Firehouse is able to increase funding for the Summer 2021 residency, and engage our community with a unique project this winter, exploring the interconnected relationship between the arts and sciences.
The Nature, Environment, Science & Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts is part of the larger campus-wide Grand Challenge initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), and is open to all CU students, faculty, staff, campus units and community members. NEST seeks projects that bridge the sciences and the arts, and engage with central questions that explore our common and disparate ways of observing, recording, experimenting and knowing. One of their main focuses is supporting undergraduate and graduate work through its funding channels as they kick-start their careers.
The Firehouse traditionally hosts two Artist Occupied programs each year—i.e, Summer Residency and Winter residency. Residents work in the South Gallery for three months before a culminating solo exhibition in the Main Gallery with the opportunity to also guest curate an accompanying South Gallery show. These residencies typically run from June to August, and November to January. The Artist Occupied program at the Firehouse is intended as a professional development opportunity for emerging and experienced visual artists, and to expose visitors to a working artist environment.
We are pleased to announce the upcoming and first Firehouse/NEST Artist Occupied Winter Residency artists—and University of Colorado Boulder graduate students— Jennifer Cole and Amy Hoagland. Jennifer is a PhD student at the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, and Amy is an MFA student at theDepartment of Art & Art History.
Jennifer and Amy are collaborating together to create a site specific art installation featuring an artificial natural environment. They will use this art installation to study psychological experiences of art. Jennifer and Amy created their project based on a shared interest in how people relate to nature. They seek to bring nature to individuals through the art installation and to study individuals’ experiences of it. The project uses art to inform science by discovering the psychological processes driving how people view and understand art. It also uses science to inform art by contributing to the understanding of how to present art to achieve the desired effects.
To create the sculptures, natural forms such as rocks and trees are 3D scanned using a process called photogrammetry. Multiple photographs are taken of the natural forms and then placed into a software which stitches the images together to create a 3D file. The 3D file is then applied in digital fabrication methods such as laser cutting to recreate the scanned natural form.
Materials such as paper, cardboard, and wood are used within the sculptures. These sculptures will be large-scale and will create an immersive environment. Recorded sounds from nature will be played to evoke a stronger sense of connection with the outside world. In a time of isolation and separation, this will be a quiet space for visitors to relax and slow down, but also a potential space to connect with others. As some are unable to visit the space during this time, for better accessibility, a digital version of the installation will be available for viewers to experience as well.
Throughout the residency in November, December and January, visitors will be able to see the process behind the installation as Amy builds her simulated environment in the South Gallery every Friday (12-5pm) and occasional Saturdays.
Visitors to the February Main Gallery exhibit will have the option to participate in a psychological experiment. The experiment will examine how people process and enjoy art.
Data will be collected from visitors to the live exhibit at the Firehouse Art Center and an online video tour offered to those who would like to see the installation but cannot or do not wish to visit the exhibit in person. After completing the study, Jennifer and Amy will present and discuss results and conclusions from the data collected.
Images provided courtesy Amy Hoagland.