Senior displays science, math work in art festival

Senior displays science, math work in art festival
Posted on 05/20/2022
Morganton, NC – Friday, May 20th, 2022

When most people think of art, they don't normally mix it together with math and science, but for Freedom High School senior Alisa Cruz-Mendez it was the perfect challenge. Mendez is an intern for The Old School Studio (TOSS) in Morganton, which is directed by Kathryn Ervin. Ervin is invited to create an interactive piece of artwork for the festival every year, but this year the two switched things up.

Cruz-Mendez said, “As an intern at TOSS and as a STEAM advocate, Kathryn thought it would be a great opportunity for me to create an installation that would allow me to display my knowledge of science and math while allowing me to explore art.”

She researched to curate a design and chose the subject of topology, which is “a branch of mathematics that discovers geometric shapes and how they can be deformed in space and different dimensions.” The project is titled The Fabric of Life and will consist of a large installation of yarn and textile fibers that will create an opportunity for students to walk through a landscape of art guided by a map. The map will lead them to create a landscape of Florence County, South Carolina with yarn, fabric and other textile materials. In accordance with our theme, Fabric of Life, each thread in the landscape is representative of each community member in Florence - each contributing in a unique way to community unity and prosperity.

Cruz-Mendez said, “It seems like a paradox for me to be working at an art studio and creating a large art piece. I never had access to an arts education growing up since my parents did not see the value in it. Naturally, I never took it upon myself to take an art class in middle or high school. Yet even with my lack of an education in the arts, I was still able to create something beautiful.”

She plans on attending a college in the fall and majoring in either Interdisciplinary Studies, Medical/Evolutionary Anthropology, or Public Policy.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Swan said, “Alisa has demonstrated a powerful way to showcase her talent and help others to be positively impacted at the same time. We are very proud of her efforts and know her future, as well as so many other BCPS students, will be very bright.”
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