Grid Art: Where Art & Math Converge
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is committed to showcasing student artwork from schools and classrooms around the county. We are delighted to exhibit this project from students at Biella Elementary School and Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts in Santa Rosa. Students learned side by side objectives in art and math during the course of these projects taught by elementary teacher and artist Laurie Burghardt-Noia.
The work you see before you was created by students in grades 3rd through 7th. Students learned about the concepts of grey scale, orientation, line, shape, color value, space, and perspective in addition to exploring coordinates by following and tracking a grid diagram. Each square on each piece was created by individual students and then added to the larger piece to complete the finished work. In some cases, students didn’t know what the completed piece would be!
Though the finished works appear complicated, using this strategy is an affordable and accessible approach to large-scale art. Materials needed include a reference image—from Martin Luther King to Charlie Chaplin to Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises,”—nearly any image can be reconstructed using this method. The key is in the math: keeping the scale of the image 1:1 from the original image to the final enlarged size. This method of using a grid as a tool to create proportions has been used by artists for centuries and the resulting work is impressive.
We hope you will take a few moments to explore the works from a distance and up close so as to appreciate the detail of each finished piece.