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CV Peterson: Fantastical Mergings

| Clare McCarty

Art is far more than oil on canvas or clay on a wheel. It expresses a feeling and facilitates a conversation between the artist and the viewer. CV Peterson is a globally emerging artist who, in their own words, “uses art and science to demonstrate human environmental devastation through a futuristic and playful dystopian lens where plastic is legacy and fungus is the next sentient being." Peterson is graciously lending their unique view of art and its process to the Honors program through their course The Intersection of Art & Science: Fantastical Mergings (HNRS 141.501). 

Knowing Honors is a place for blending disciplines, CV Peterson felt the course concept and their career passion was most at home within the Honors setting. The Intersection of Art & Science: Fantastical Mergings is a happy mixture of many concepts typically seen as contradictory: science and art, artists and non-artists, eastern and western world views. It blends complex art principles with practical science truths, allowing students to use both right and left-brain strengths to conceptualize the intersections. The interdisciplinary nature of this course invites non-artists to be immersed inside an artist’s mind. Peterson says that they do not feel there is a considerable difference in teaching non-artists compared to artists because, “the key is wanting to learn verses not wanting to. It’s strictly a mindset of I can learn this, or I can’t. Telling yourself you’re not an artist is limiting."

CV also hopes to share the business side of art through the course, which artists are all too familiar with but non-artists may not think about. “There is a paperwork side of art that is unknown by many people,” which students emulate through the course work and assignments throughout the semester. Students must propose their final project idea and get approval, as would an artist. The final project is flexible to the interests and talents of the student. They are invited to communicate their learnings through whatever medium they so choose, whether that be a paper or a painting. This flexibility furthers the idea that artists and non-artists alike can benefit from delving deeper into the intersections of art with science. 

“A singular focus is going extinct." As children of the digital age, students are now under more pressure than ever to be constantly adaptable and masters of all. The expectation of employers and beyond is moving increasingly towards an emphasis on a powerful [AND]. The intersection of art and science is surely one of those powerful [AND]s, and CV Peterson salutes the Honors Program for allowing an arena for interdisciplinary professionals to share their passions. This out-of-the-box course pushes students to expand their focus and exposes them to fantastical mergings they may never have connected before.