Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics: Key Elements in the Evolution of the Contemporary Art Quilt



Cantrell, Stacy

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This thesis demonstrates that advancements in communication, technology and media are providing new inspiration, tools and techniques to quilt artists and have enabled them to transform the 1960s art quilt into a new hybrid form: quilts that reference the sciences in new and specific ways and in doing so, create new access to the sciences. Science-infused art quilts have evolved naturally from art quilts because quilt artists desire to educate, inspire, and express and influence culture by artistically employing and referencing the sciences. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has played a major role in the making and the enhancement of quilts up to modern day. Today, STEAM is a new innovation that couples the sciences with art and design; STEM + Art = STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics). In the twenty-first century the public debate about innovation has focused increasingly on the role of art as an important source of creativity and a new term has been forged to designate the broadened definition of the foundational fields: STEAM. To some degree, art quilts have always embodied the ideas embraced by STEM but twenty-first century quilts have evolved into still broader stylistic and conceptual categories and often function as the "A", the art component in STEAM.



S.T.E.A.M., Contemporary art quilts, S.T.E.A.M. quilts, Art and science, S.T.E.M. quilts, Art quilts