ONE OF THE FIRST DISPLAYS THIS FALL in the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity was artwork by Harvey Mudd students in the class Fluidity: Art, Science & Images/Special Topics in Art, taught by Rachel Levy, associate professor of mathematics and associate dean for faculty development, and Ken Fandell, associate professor of art and Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson Chair in Arts and the Humanities. By exploring art and mathematics in images and fluids, students gain perspective on the theory and context of fluid visualizations and create visual works informed by art’s historical and theoretical contexts.
The Center, created with a $25 million gift from Rick and Susan Sontag—1964 graduates of Harvey Mudd College and Pomona College, respectively—is an innovative setting where students from the five Claremont Colleges can work in creative teams. Nicknamed “The Hive” for the buzz of creative thought and collaborative activity it is designed to foster, the center supports students’ creative development and helps equip them to work collaboratively to address the future’s most ambiguous problems and complex challenges.
Emma Meersman ’16, one of the students whose work was featured there, says, “I am very glad to have a space like The Hive. I think that it encourages collaboration between the colleges and allows students to interact in an open, creative environment. The Fluidity course challenged me to think about how scientific concepts could be applied to an art project as well as how to view scientific experiments through an artistic lens. The course encouraged students to experiment and discover new things about the world, a value that is also reflected in The Hive.”