Family Day at the Beall Center

Courtesy of Lauren Ladiova

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts’ Beall Center for Art and Technology held Family Day, in which parents, children as well as students, enjoyed free, hands-on art and science activities that introduced new media art centered around the Beall Center’s current exhibit, “DataViz: Information as Art” on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Arts Plaza.

This was the first of the two professional exhibits the Beall Center for Art and Technology showcases each year as well as the first big event of the year. According to program manager Samantha Haug, the current exhibit “is a group of artists, scientists, engineers, different types of people taking scientific data and then creating art.”

“DataViz is data information that the artists collect. They try to represent it through different visuals like sculptures, drawings and prints. This year, what we’re trying to go for is a larger variety, so that’s why we have different mediums for the idea of DataViz,” Ashley Chen, a volunteer and art student, further explained.

Besides the Beall exhibit were family-friendly music, presentations and performances. Local high-tech companies in engineering, manufacturing and design that participated in the event include: SilPak Co., The Paton Group and Epilog Laser Co., who presented art projects and gave demonstrations that stimulated kids’ interest in art and technology through hands-on interactive projects.

“It’s really fun to have little kids and families come to interact with the artworks here. Mostly our exhibitions are focused in technological concepts and usually they’re more interactive. It’s nice to see little kids can learn through interactions with the work,” Chen said.

Along with the interactive artworks and projects were several educational presentations.  Children learned the principles of vision, light and other optics through the “Artricks-Optricks” program put on by the Optics Institute of Southern California. The OC Mini Maker Faire reps helped launch paper rockets into the sky, and Irvine’s Mathobotix presented on how they use robotics.

Several UCI campus organizations, including Digital Art and Technology (DAT) Space, DIY Craft & Art Club and Hansori, also had projects and performances at Family Day. Other participants were the Komodo Food Truck and CyberA Café that offered meals for purchase.

As the event waned down in its closing, Haug commented on Family Day, “When I see all the kids running around and having fun and parents say they are enjoying it and getting involved with what they’re doing, I’d say it’s a big success. We’ve had a great turnout, so I’m looking forward to the next one in April. We want to expose the community to something different and also show how art and technology can merge together. We just want to show that the Beall Center is here and that we’re community-oriented.”