Amy Hoagland and Jenny Cole

FEB 11, 2021 – MAR 7, 2021
Opening Reception – Friday, FEB 12 [6:30-9 PM]

The Firehouse Art Center presents the culmination of our Winter Residency partnership with NEST Studio for the Arts, featuring the work of MFA Sculpture Student Amy Hoagland and PhD Social Psychology Candidate Jennifer Cole. The exhibit is part of a social psychology research study, which offers a unique and exciting opportunity to participate in scientific research while viewing art. The research study will be conducted within this site specific art installation featuring an artificial natural environment, creatively addressing the boundaries between the natural and artificial in its arrangement and construction.

To create the rock sculptures, 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, card- board, and wood are used within the sculptures. The installation features projected video footage and ambient sound recordings.

Hoagland’s creative use of materials mimics and suggests forms found in nature, while providing further commentary on our understanding of, and relationship to, organic structures. Geometric sculptures welded of metal and glass call to mind the polygonal mesh of gaming environments and computer animation, as well as the fractured forms of natural crystalline structures, while mirrors are used to reflect light around the space in a simulation of water. Each material (cardboard, glass, welded metals) comes from a human treatment of natural resources, recombined and re-presented within the context of a contemporary relationship to digital environments. Her process brings natural forms into the world of human influence and filters them out again, providing an expression of the many layers that separate our sensory input from our intellectual understanding of the world we live in.

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 – further compounding the depth of Hoagland and Cole’s research presentation.

Students from CU Boulder, Jennifer Cole is a PhD student at the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, and Amy is an MFA student at the Department of Art & Art History.

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.

For more information visit or on social media @nestcuboulder

Hoagland and Cole will join Curator Brandy Coons and NEST administration for an online panel discussing the project and its research findings on March 23 at 6pm via zoom. To register, contact