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Macon String Scape

September 23, 2016 – January 15, 2017  Join the Museum in this community celebration! Assisted by staff members of the Museum, visitors will create a 25-foot string art mural in the Elam Alexander Hall Gallery. The Museum’s string art mural will be an example of drawing with thread, similar to the work of international fiber artist Debbie Smyth. The Museum installation, which will take two weeks to complete, will be inspired by a downtown Macon streetscape and skyline. Other related activities planned to complement the exhibit include string art geometry activities designed to introduce visitors to some of the curves that can be created with straight-line segments (like circles, parabolas, ellipses, hyperbolas, spirals, cardioids, limacons, and deltoids.

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Typically, string art includes an arrangement of colored thread strung between two points to form abstract geometric patterns or representational designs. Thread, wire, yarn, or other fibers are wound around a grid of nails hammered into a wooden board or wall. Though straight lines are formed by the string, the slightly different angles and metric positions at which strings intersect give the appearance of parametric curves.

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String art has its origins in the ‘curve stitch’ activities invented by 19th-century mathematician Mary Everest Boole, whose progressive ideas on education encouraged students to explore math through creative activities like “curve stitching.” The “curve stitching” technique became a popular decorative craft in the 1960s and has since become an emerging contemporary form of fiber installation.