STEAM CONCEPTS COALESCE
by Suzanne Volmer
“Tangible Thinking,” curated by Amy Leidtke and sponsored by the Art League of Rhode Island (ALRI) at Providence’s Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium (The VETS) Gallery, links visual art with mathematics, science and engineering. Central to Leidtke’s concept for “Tangible Thinking” is the inclusion of process.
Making a conscious effort to share development stages, the curator wants the show’s audiences to enjoy seeing layers of creation, so they can experience the sensibility of fluid change. An assortment of graphs and diagrams will accompany the finished results throughout the show as the underpinnings of idea origination. The aim is to show that even mistakes sometimes lead to successful and significant final results.
An industrial designer by trade and an educator at the Rhode Island School of Design, Leidtke’s expertise with exhibition design brings a sophisticated approach to layout for this exhibition. She first conceptualized this show in response to a desire to meet the pressing need to enlighten the next generation of creative thinkers to the communicating concepts tied to scientific insight, technology, engineering, art and math; all relate to STEAM intelligence, a combined academic discipline program meant to encourage teaching skills that will lead to academic and professional opportunity.
By contract, ALRI handles the exhibition programming at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium Gallery through 2016, so Leidtke initially approached them about this show. Some of her insights on how to use the space, such as retrofitting certain areas, will have lasting positive effect on exhibitions planned by ALRI for this space in the future; the collaboration has a useful sense of synergy.