By Linda Cameron
Having a liberal arts background or arts training has been dissed as useless and frivolous. Criticism is tied to the ability to earn a living. The Guardian reports that female graduates are dropping out of the arts, and Fox News recently covered opposing arguments for training in the arts and sciences. So in the world of STEM, where do the arts fit in? Through high tech, people in creative fields are reinventing themselves, and in a predominantly visual digital world, artists have an advantage. With skills in Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, WordPress, web design and other software, artists are applying their talents to a variety of industries. In the arts, here’s what’s been happening.
Fashion Design in STEM Training
Fashion stepped off the runway and into a high school classroom in Utah. One goal was to show students how to apply general math and geometry; the other was to attract more girls to STEM training. As part of STEM education, students design clothing using varieties of software and math. Since the introduction of fashion design into an otherwise austere curriculum, STEM has caught more STEAM.
An Art-Inspired Water Cleaning Serpent
In lore and literature, the serpent doesn’t get credit for good deeds. But an artist found a way to make the way of the serpent useful. He invented a biofilter to clean up large bodies of water, sewer systems, and other water sources. You might have heard of SLURPITS, which rids water of toxins and pollutants.The biofilter, used locally and internationally, has restored water quality to wetlands and municipal water systems and cleaned up oil spills.
Democratization of Art Through AI
It’s a common misconception that robots have mobility but lack emotion and creativity. This assumption may be put to the test as bots assume creative functions in the art world and fashion industry.
- A bot may be your next style consultant. Researchers are experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) and neural networks that will design custom apparel based on customer preferences. Retailers will sell the clothing instore and online.
- Robots could replace the artist in portrait painting and art reproductions. Researchers are also priming bots for other artistic tasks.
- Students across the U.S. designed and entered 26 robots in an art contest. The event was a smash with the elite art crowd. The next art competition might pit human artists against art bots. (Would anyone dare snub a robot for being of a different pedigree?)
Finally, here’s a career path suggestion for artists: If you can’t get work, design an art robot. If the bot makes it in the art world, it can become the family breadwinner!