Questions for ‘For these artists, math is their muse’


"Grid," by math artist Henry Segerman, explores mathematical concepts using projections. This 3-D printed sculpture is a patterned sphere. When light shines through the openings from above, the shadows form a square grid.

H. Segerman

To accompany feature “For these artists, math is their muse


Before Reading

1.  Have you ever made art that involves math? What did you make and what role did math play?           

2.  What are three mathematical concepts that you think are interesting? How might an artist represent those concepts visually?         

During Reading

1.  What is the Joint Mathematics Meeting?   

2.  According to the story, what is one piece of evidence that the field of math art is growing?  

3.  What are tessellations, and how does Robert Fathauer use them in his art? 

4.  What is a Klein bottle? What is challenging about representing it in sculpture?   

5.  What is the math joke hidden in Bathsheba Grossman’s work described in the story?   

6.  Henry Segerman “creates scuptures that can cross from one dimension to another.” What is one example?   

7.  What role do VR goggles play in Segerman’s work?  

8.  What is the significance of the date that a gallery in Sarasota, Fla., began showing some of John Sims’ works?

9.  How has John Sims used pi in his art?  

10.  Why did Sims choose to use quilts as a medium for his artworks?   

After Reading

1.  Imagine that you were given a bucket of pebbles, a very long string and a stack of different-colored papers. What mathematical concept could you represent using these art supplies?

2.  Besides mathematical ideas, what other concepts that you’ve studied at school might make interesting art? What would be your chosen medium? Why?