Have you ever heard of the term “right-brain” versus “left-brain” thinkers? Our society has deemed that there are those “right-brained” individuals who are creative, being more adept in the humanities, and then the “left-brained” individuals who are on the logical side, being more skilled in the STEM field. Senior Maggie Dwyer uses her art to show that visual arts and math are far more similar than we think.
“I didn’t really start getting into art until freshman year,” Maggie explained. After taking art teacher Katie Burnett’s Foundations in Art class, Maggie became more inspired to pursue art as a passion. Led under Ms. Burnett’s careful guidance, she has grown immensely as an artist over the past four years.
If she’s not painting, Maggie loves working with wood to make complex, three-dimensional sculptures. In her sophomore year, she created a series of four wood sculptures titled Act Natural. “That was the first project that really led me to discover my voice as an artist,” she said.
When Ms. Burnett prompted her students to use their projects to create the art that they wanted to see, Maggie was inspired to think outside of the box (hence, the name of the class). “I decided to try and create the art that I wanted to see by incorporating mathematical elements into it,” she said.
Since then, Maggie’s goal has been to promote others to see the artistic beauty in STEM-related subjects, such as math. “I think that a lot of times, art already has a lot of math elements in it,” she said, “but sometimes it’s not that apparent. Instead of having it be the background, I wanted to put it at the forefront of my art.”
She added that often, math is given a reputation for being dull, binary, or boring. “I would argue that [math and art] are more similar than they are different because there’s so much artistry to be found in both.” Artistically, it is really important to Maggie that she uses her art to challenge these conventions.
She explained the similarities between how one approaches a math problem and how an art project is approached. “The way that one individual person approaches a given math problem is different, for example they might want to use calculus or geometry, depending on their personality,” she said. “I think that’s similar to the way someone might look at a still-life and make an abstraction, versus how another person might make a hyper-realist painting.”
We are so proud of Maggie for using her art to challenge others’ perspectives and to encourage others to see the beauty in subjects like math that she is passionate about. We know that she’ll continue to do great things, whether it be artistically, mathematically, or both!