GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 228-10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


GLUMAC, Bosiljka1, HOLT, Charlotte2, KOPF, Silas3, JENSEN, Eric4, PAPINEAU, Em5, AIKEN, Chris5, CARIS, Jon6, LONG, Stephanie6 and CARSON, Teresa7, (1)Department of Geosciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (2)Art Department, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (3)Silas Kopf Woodworking, 20 Stearns Ct., Northampton, MA 01060, (4)Center for Design and Fabrication, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (5)Department of Dance, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (6)Spatial Analysis Lab, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (7)2155 Wood Street #B5, Sarasota, FL 34237

This presentation includes examples of creative ways of communicating geologic information through various art forms. Besides examining stone sculptures at a local art museum, the examples include creating a stone mosaic in the traditional Italian Pietre Dure Florentine style, staging a dance performance at a site of geological significance, and collaborating on a poem about stone sarcophagi.

Students in Prof. Glumac’s GEO 112 Archaeological Geology course at Smith College (SC) explore aesthetic qualities of stone sculptures at the College’s Art Museum and learn how geological origins impacted the stones’ properties, which in turn may influence the sculptors’ choices of materials and techniques. The students also learn about Pietre Dure, and in collaboration with Silas Kopf (local artist and woodworker) and Eric Jensen (SC Center for Design and Fabrication), a Studio Art major and Geosciences minor Charlotte Holt made a traditional wire bow saw and designed and created a mosaic following the original methods, but using modern technology such as a water jet for cutting stone and diamond pads for polishing the final product. Holt made petrographic thin sections of the 12 mosaic stones used and related their geological origins to her choices of texture and color.

In collaboration with SC Dance Prof. Aiken, a Dance major Em Papineau choreographed and performed a dance at a locality with Jurassic dinosaur footprints and explored the geological significance of the site. The dance was video recorded with a drone by experts from SC Spatial Analysis Lab. Both the stone mosaic and the dance video were featured at Celebrating Collaborations – the SC’s annual event that showcases students’ work with faculty and staff.

Prof. Glumac also worked with poet Teresa Carson on exploring source rocks for ancient Roman stone sarcophagi. The results of their collaboration are included in Carson’s 2019 poem “Metamorphoses Book XVI.” These examples demonstrate diverse ways of combining art with geologic information, which could then be presented to students who may otherwise shy away from taking natural science courses at SC that has no core requirements. This presentation seeks feedback and suggestions on scaling up the distribution of such GeoArt information to the general public by using social media and other forms of communication.