Art and Mathematics Project

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Objective: Create a piece of artwork that incorporates mathematics

Dig deep in your heart and see if you can think of any piece of mathematics you find elegant, beautiful, or otherwise aesthetically pleasing. Now take that and incorporate it into a piece of artwork, hopefully in such a way that the qualities of the math that please you show through in the appeal of the piece.


Create an artwork. This can mean pretty much anything: painting, sculpture, music, short story...

The art should incorporate mathematics. This can mean pretty much anything. This course has covered:

  • Symmetry
  • Tessellations
  • Similarity tessellations and patterns
  • Fractals (iterated transformations)
  • Spherical geometry
  • Platonic solids and spherical tessellations
  • Hyperbolic geometry and hyperbolic tessellations
  • The fourth dimension
  • Perspective and impossible figures.
  • Dimensions (2,3, and 4)

Any of these topics could be the basis for a fine art project, and you're welcome to use any other math you know. Don't hesitate to talk to your instructor about ideas.

Good projects will have the math inside them, lesser projects will be about the math. For example, a song listing all the topics we've covered in class does not incorporate math very well.

This needs to be a high-quality piece of work. This means:

Good materials
Writing pencils and ball-point pens are not acceptable. Use ink, paint, pastels, markers, colored pencil, or any other bona fide art supply. Binder or printer paper is not acceptable. Use a heavy artists paper, or posterboard, or better. If you use graph paper, attach it to a piece of backing board so it is sturdy.
The finished work should not be your first attempt. Make sketches or studies. If you will perform your artwork, practice before you show it to the class.


Review due date
You should have a well thought out plan for your artwork. Write down your plan along with any early preliminary work and bring to class for discussion.
Final due date
Hand in your artwork, any preliminary work you’ve done, and a written discussion of your project. If your project is not visual (e.g. poem, song, story) you’ll be expected to perform it. The written component is more flexible than it was for the tessellation project. Here are some suggestions for discussion:
  • Describe your artwork (don’t assume your instructor can figure it out).
  • Explain what your artwork is about.
  • Explain the mathematics involved, and how it is incorporated.
  • Talk about your motivation.
  • If you have no preliminary work, this is a good place to explain why.


Grading is based on three areas:

Is there mathematics in your work? Is it an essential part of the artwork? How difficult is it?
Did you use good materials, and take care to make a high-quality piece of work?
Talent is not required, but try your best.


Art and Mathematics Project Grading Rubric