Lab Work exhibition shows off student artworks, designs

April 19, 2018



Managing Editor | mrb056@latech.edu


Students created pieces exploring scientific concepts. – Photo by Hannah Roundtree


Two courses at Louisiana Tech, Art 310: Digital Painting and Art 391: Digital Modeling and Fabrication, joined forces to share Tech students’ examples of how art and science can connect to create.


The Lab Work exhibition was held by the Visual Integration of Science Through Art program in Tech’s Rawle’s Enterprise Center April 12. This exhibition contained final project pieces from several students in the digital art courses.


Nick Bustamante, an art professor and director of VISTA, said these digital art classes are relatively new to Tech’s campus.


“These classes are part of the requirements for a newly developed minor at Tech called medical illustration,” he said. “We’ve had this class (Art 310) for about three years, but the minor just became a legitimate thing this fall.”


Bustamante, who teaches the digital painting course, said students gain a variety of skills from the class that will help them in the future.


“For this final project I bring in scientists and they explain a pretty complex scientific concept, and then the artist has to make an illustration,” he said. “It creates a client experience for the students. It’s about how you work with a client, how you understand these concepts enough to illustrate it and then how you take constructive feedback and do something with it.”


Kyle Tripelett, an assistant professor of studio art, teaches the digital modeling and fabrication course. He said with this new medical illustration minor and its courses comes new opportunities for art majors.


“Art students traditionally think ‘I can be an artist or I can teach art,’ and that really limits your job potential,” Tripelett said. “Students with this skill set can go out and work in design firms or work for companies that specialize 3D-printing objects. It just gives you another great tool as an artist.”


Cinthia Rincon, a junior studio art major, was one of the students with work on display at the exhibition. She said she chose to take the digital painting course to bring science back into her curriculum.


“I’ve always had a love for science, and I have missed it since I’ve been here at Tech,” Rincon said. “All the sciences I had to take were the basic courses everyone has to take, so I decided to try it. Doing this project was really fun because I got to do research on the topic and listen to Dr. Newman explain her work.”


Rincon said she also decided to take on the medical illustration minor after completing her final project. “By listening to Dr. Newman’s words and putting it into a picture, she can get more credit for her work and help people learn more about the sciences. In return, maybe they will feel inspired and do their own research,” Rincon said. “I like the idea that I can take such an abstract concept and make it into something bigger when it is usually in photographs you can only get from under a microscope.”


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