MathArtist to present at Quilt House

John Sims, an interdisciplinary conceptual artist, will present "SquareRoots: A Quilted Manifesto/Journey of a MathArtist" at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at Quilt House. Sims creates multimedia projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance and politicalmedia activism.

"You can expect to witness the interdisciplinary process in an art context as you have never seen it before with quilting and all of its associated metaphors at the center," Sims said. "I am excited about coming to Quilt House and sharing my work on the expansive nature of quilting, community and art.”

Sims became interested in quiltmaking as a conceptual device to advance his work in mathematical art. “SquareRoots: A Quilted Manifesto,” a series of 13 mathart quilts done in collaboration with the Amish community in Sarasota, Florida, will travel internationally.

“Sims has harnessed the richness and adaptability of quilts to express difficult intellectually or socially challenging subjects more easily, including math, race and ethnicity,” said Jonathan Gregory, assistant curator of exhibitions at Quilt House. “I’ve already been inspired through conversations I’ve had with John as we’ve planned his visit. He combines textile art, music, film, math and racial and ethnic concerns and these draw in people to consider larger ideas about ourselves.”

The free public lecture is being held in conjunction to the exhibition, “Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts,” which is on display at Quilt House through Nov. 29.

Quilt House will offer free admission to its galleries between 4:30 and 7 p.m. as part of Lincoln’s First Friday festivities. A reception, featuring light refreshments, will begin at 5 p.m.

During his visit to Lincoln, Sims will also be a guest lecturer in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Sims holds a bachelor’s of science in mathematics from Antioch College. He is currently completing a doctorate in mathematics at Wesleyan University with research interest in dynamical systems, mathematical art and ethnomathematics. As the former coordinator of mathematics at Ringling College Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, he designed a visual mathematics curriculum for artists and visual thinkers.

Sims has also curated more than 15 mathematical art exhibitions, including the exhibition/film “Rhythm of Structure: Bowery and Beyond,” which featured more than 75 artists and poets.

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Robert S. & Mildred M. Baynard Charitable Trust, the Mary Ann Beavers Fund for Public Programming & Outreach, Institute for Ethnic Studies, the Mark & Diann Sorenson Fund for Public Programming & Outreach and Yia Yia’s Pizza and Beer. The exhibition and publications were made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Friends of the IQSCM.

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