College of E&S debuts art show

The University of Detroit Mercy’s 2024 SciComm Art Show, CNXNS, taking place on Feb. 5-9, is the first of its kind on university grounds. The show, hoping to create a visible connection between science and art through student and faculty creativity, is aiming to become an annual event.  

Maris Polanco is the director of the SciComm Art Show, CNXNS. The art exhibit will showcase “about 20 art pieces created by the University of Detroit Mercy faculty, staff, and students,” Polanco said. All the pieces will revolve around the idea of connections (which CNXNS is pronounced as) but interpreted through the eyes of the STEM field. The artists did have the option of what specialization of connections they wanted to capitalize on such as metaphysical, physical or emotional, Polanco said.  

Polanco has been a part of SciComm itself since 2018. She has shown her work all over the nation, in many universities, and in Germany.  

“Participating in SciComm art really helped me develop not only as an artist, but as a person and scientist,” Polanco said 

She spoke about being a part of this artistic community with such reverence and gratefulness and relayed the fact that she wants the students at the University of Detroit Mercy to have this opportunity, which shaped her as a person, as well.  

There were struggles and difficult questions that had to be answered when preparing for this event. Madeline Byrne, CNXNS’s communication specialist, shares that the Titan Innovation Fund was a large part of how CNXNS came together. This grant has only been introduced this year. Part of applying for this grant was having to discuss “what does it cost to create art, and can you put a value on it, which is a struggle everyone in the art world has faced,” Byrne said. Byrne, herself, has a painting that will be displayed.  

Students at the University of Detroit Mercy pursuing STEM degrees were able to use their talents to present artistic ideas in a unique way, made possible by CNXNS.  

“[We] made this Arduino robot in a class our freshman year where we were able to apply our programming skills to allow an autonomous robot… to dodge objects from a specific distance. We then thought of the idea of creating a Lego land… to add an artistic perspective to it,” Jezelle Manni said.  

Manni, majoring in mechanical engineering, and Aranza Ramirez, majoring in robotics and mechatronics engineering, are the creators of this robot. 

The exhibit, held in the Warren Loranger Architecture Building at the University of Detroit Mercy, will include paintings, a robot, fractal simulation, poetry, pottery, sculptures, interactive animation, music, photography and more.