Art museum to host Michael Schultheis reception

One-time performance will highlight math, music, art; artist will visit exhibit during free public event



Sophomore nursing major Hannah O’Flanagan inspects the mathematical elements present in Schultheis’ piece “Conics of Apollonius” on Jan. 15. The piece will be available for viewing at the reception Thursday.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

WSU alumnus Michael Schultheis will showcase his artwork during a reception and performance from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Schultheis wants to keep the details of his performance a secret, though he did give a few hints as to what he will do. His exhibit showcases art and mathematics in fusion, but for his performance he will add music to the mix.

The performance will build on his work combining two very different fields. Though Schultheis himself will not perform, he helped create the mathematical aspect of the performance.

His exhibit features a set of pieces dubbed “Venn Pirouettes.” Schultheis draws on his background as an economist and mathematician to create his pieces, which include both paintings and sculptures.

Schultheis has been widely featured throughout the United States in over 60 exhibits, but this is his first time featured at WSU.

“We wanted to find an artist that could represent the arts, as well as the sciences, as well as math,” said Debbie Stinson, the museum’s marketing and press relations manager.

The first piece that may catch the eye is the “Venn Fidelities Sphere,” a large cast bronze sculpture. The shape of this sculpture is essential to most of Schultheis’ pieces. It is repeated in multiple mediums during the event.

“I imbue a story into this geometry,” Schultheis said.

Schultheis is presenting something new at this exhibit. He made “Water Lilies of Archimedes” specifically for the WSU showcase.

“He went into his studio and worked furiously to create that piece of art in the time that was necessary to open the show,” said Stinson.

“[The piece] gives an homage to Monet, my hero … but also gives an homage to my other hero, Archimedes,” Schultheis said. “In the same painting there is geometry that art students will recognize, and there is geometry that math students will recognize.”

This large painting invokes different emotions based on the distance at which it is viewed. Approaching the painting, you will see equations and minute details you don’t see from afar.

Schultheis’ reception and performance are on Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will take place in the Wright/Harmon Gallery. The event is free for all to attend. “Venn Pirouettes” will remain at the museum until June 29.