One of Artisphere 2014’s largest exhibits showed how Clemson University is bringing together technology and art to create cars, movie special effects and 3D computer programs, while inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and artists.

 The College of Engineering and Science had  a major exhibit at Artisphere for the first time in the Greenville festival’s 10-year history.

Visitors look at the Deep Orange concept car at Clemson University's Artisphere exhibit in May.

Visitors look at the Deep Orange concept car at Clemson University’s Artisphere exhibit in May.

 It included a student-built concept car, animated productions and hands-on activities.

 Anand Gramopadhye, the college’s dean, said Clemson’s exhibit offered a unique presence that allowed visitors to explore how technology and art can lead to playful innovation.

 “We were excited to see such a positive response from the community,” he said. “Throughout the weekend we had a constant flow of activity, with people exploring new forms of technology and creative expression. It was wonderful to watch young people encounter new ideas and be inspired.”

Alexa Woodward, director of the STEAM initiative, estimates that 4,000 to 5,000 people participated in the exhibit over the weekend.

“We have received very positive feedback from the community about exploring art and science together,” she said. “It’s a combination of creativity that is truly exciting.”

 The exhibit was called the “Clemson University STEAM Exhibit: Exploring Technology and Art.” STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

 But the College of Engineering and Science wasn’t the only Clemson presence at Artisphere from May 9-11.

 Art students and alumni representing the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts and the Department of Art were on hand. Some were at the STEAM exhibit, while others will be at a separate location on Art Demonstration Row.

 Students and alumni gave demonstrations in ceramics, printmaking and creating art using technology.

 “At Clemson, we believe that creative collaboration between different areas of the university is crucial to our success,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and member of the Artisphere Board of Directors.

 “We are thrilled to see art and science working together so beautifully and with such imagination.”

Highlights at the STEAM exhibit included:

 CU-ICAR: Deep Orange

 Visitors had a chance to see a concept car created by students.

 Graduate students seeking degrees in automotive engineering build a new prototype vehicle each year at the Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).

 What may come as a surprise, though, is that the engineering challenge begins with students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

 The art-center students create the initial design and work closely with engineers to refine it.

 Digital Production Arts

 Students showed animated works throughout the weekend and shared the experiences they have had in Digital Production Arts (DPA).

The Clemson program combines artistic skill and technical expertise to create dramatic visual effects for film, television and games. Alumni have worked on several hit movies, including “Frozen.”

Students in the program explore digital animation and 3D graphics.

Creative Movement

Visitors learned a sequence of steps in real life and then programmed a computer character to do the same as part of what researchers call VENVI, or “virtual environment interactions.” The activity involved a full-size dance floor.

Research suggests that moving the body can help students learn, a concept known as “embodied cognition.”

A Clemson team has begun a research project that seeks to answer some of the questions that surround the concept, while inspiring fifth- and sixth-grade girls to study computer science and other technological fields in which women are underrepresented.


Viewers stepped into a dark room with a glowing box of water containing moving silhouettes.

When the viewers touched the water, their actions were recorded until they removed their hands.

The silhouette of each participant was then be played over top of the rest of the silhouettes and the viewer became part of the piece. It was designed by Nate Newsome, a Clemson Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate and Ph.D. student.


Clemson’s outreach program, Emagine, hosted workshops for K-12 students throughout the weekend, providing hands-on projects that combined design and engineering in an applied context.

Science As Art

Large prints hanging at the exhibit showed the artistry that can often be found in science, such as when microscopes take fantastic photos of nanoparticles or ocean barnacles.

 Since its inception in 2006, “Science as Art” has challenged Clemson University and high school students to share the powerful and inspiring visual images produced in laboratories, workspaces and learning environments.

Highlights at the Center for Visual Arts’ location on Art Demonstration Row included:


A group of selected Clemson Master of Fine Arts graduate students demonstrated several ceramic and printmaking techniques throughout the weekend.

Participants had an opportunity to learn about the basic techniques of printmaking and the many techniques, tools and materials used to create artwork using a printing press.

The demonstrations in ceramics were designed to show observers how an artist uses clay to create functional art as well as sculptural pieces, using a variety of techniques.

To see a gallery of pictures from the exhibits, click here: