Installation in STEM Converges Art and Science

The two complementary art installations in McDonnell Hall and Brauer Hall are now complete thanks to Upper School Fine and Performing Arts Department Chair Brad Heinemann who designed and installed the two features.

The first part of the installation is located above the main staircase in the building, while the other is on the east end of STEM. They consist of pieces of granite hung from the ceiling by wires. The material was a donation from the Cella family: Charles Cella ’54, John Cella ’81, Louis Cella ’82 and Hariet Cella Marshall ’88. The work could initially be found in longstanding St. Louis mainstay, Bush’s Grove, and was part of an installation by Japanese artist Yoshiyuki Miura.

When he was asked to take on the project, Heinemann had a specific vision in mind.

“Because it’s in the STEM building, I created an installation that resembled movement—like an asteroid flow—or a series of pieces being pulled through space. All the elements combine to create a single form, and if you look up from the bottom of the main stairway, you’ll see there’s a curve to the first installment that emphasizes that sense of movement.”

Heinemann reflected on the STEM building as the natural choice for such a piece of art.

“When I teach sculpture, I tell my students that the discipline is boundless. There are no limitations to the materials you can use.” he said. “From an artist’s standpoint, STEM education provides strong foundational tools for making art, especially sculpture. The STEM disciplines and art are connected by their emphasis on process and problem-solving. At MICDS, our students often bring their robotic and MakerSpace skills into my classroom.”

If you haven’t had a chance yet, visit McDonnell Hall and Brauer Hall and see for yourself how Heinemann’s vision reflects the convergence between the arts and sciences.