IU Hosts Distinguished Visitors from the National Academy of Sciences and Texas A&M’s Visualization Department

Innovation Undergound recently had the pleasure of giving a tour of our facilities to Carol LaFayette, Associate Professor in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University and her guest JD Talasek, Director of Cultural Programs for the NAS. Both Carol and JD have made a living out of exploring the relationship between visual culture and other disciplines such as science and medicine. Talasek pursued the arts in his higher education career, receiving an M.F.A. in Studio Arts from the University of Delaware, an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, and a B.S. in Photography from East Texas State University” (Wright State University Website). In his time with the NAS, Talasek has begun to focus more on the interconnections between art and the various disciplines of science.

Some of Talasek’s other work includes exhibitions such as the National Academy of Sciences, Visionary Anatomies, which toured through the Smithsonian Institution in 2004 through 2006; Absorption + Transmission: Work by Mike and Doug Starn; The Tao of Physics: Photographs by Arthur Tress; and Cycloids: Paintings by Michael Schultheis.

Likewise, Carol LaFayette is no stranger to the national art scene. She has had collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and Microcinema International.” To say that these two are leaders in their respective fields would be an understatement – pioneers would be more accurate.

While touring the Innovation Underground, JD and Carol also had the chance to see the SEAD Gallery, which seeks to explore the relationships between Science, Engineering, Art and Design. Currently, SEAD is expanding their scope with its summer SEAD Academy classes, which provide kids ages K-12 instruction from local artist, Le Hale, giving them an outlet for creative expression. For more design-minded children, SEAD Academy will be offering a week-long experience in July called Camp Innovation. Kids in attendance will have the opportunity to explore the SEAD disciplines through robotics, creative writing, and urban farming.

These classes are just a small part of what SEAD is doing to strengthen the bonds between the disciplines of Science, Engineering, Art and Design. With JD and Carol’s extensive experience in this budding field, we look forward to the continued exchange of ideas with these valuable partners and to the continued growth of SEAD both in the US and internationally.