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CFA class opens latest BU installation

A reception marking the installation of Visual Entanglements will be held at 5 p.m. today, March 28, in the atrium of the Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering, 590 Commonwealth Ave. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 353-7200.

A dozen large, colorful panels hang gracefully in the Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering atrium, their images — some like cascading cells, others like fractals — representing the mysteries of nature being studied by the building’s scientists. Called Visual Entanglements, they “give visibility and emotional tangibility to the research,” says Hugh O’Donnell, a College of Fine Arts professor of painting. It is the latest installation from his Site-Specific Art class, which is open to all BU students.

“It brings visibility to the talent that’s at Boston University,” O’Donnell says. Other art developed in the class is on display at the Photonics Center, on T signs at the BU West stop, in the FitRec Center, and in Sargent College, and more is planned. One current project is headed by an art education graduate student, who is bringing high school students to campus to design art for Sargent College’s Ryan Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. The students are making mosaic murals of athletes using broken ceramics. “The people who go in there are broken in a way and will see things of beauty made of broken things,” O’Donnell notes.

The Visual Entanglements project was developed by two painting students, Brienne Rosner (CFA’05) and Holland Dieringer (CFA’05), “with the help of a whole bunch of physics, chemistry, and biology graduate students and faculty,” says O’Donnell. The concept was inspired by research on entangled photons, in which two light particles can act as a single unit but perform with twice the efficiency. “They looked at how you can cross-fertilize different kinds of imagery,” he says. “If it’s engaging enough, people can be led to discover the people working behind these things, in research.”

Future projects include more art for the Photonics Center and for the School of Medicine pharmacology department, as well as off-campus work for Red Bull, among others. O’Donnell’s work, site-specific art that highlights the collaboration between the arts and the sciences, is on display on the first floor of the Life Science and Engineering Building, at 24 Cummington St., and in the foyer of the Photonics Center, at 8 St. Mary’s St..

Paul Heerlein can be reached at heerlein@bu.edu. Taylor McNeil can be reached at tmcneil@bu.edu.