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Owen Stowe '11 integrates design, music and art

What do toothpaste, turtles, pearls, corkscrews, bumble bees and galaxies all have in common? They're all types of marbles Owen Stowe '11 researched for his Design Studies III's "field guide" project, a spin on the traditional guidebook that typically helps readers identify wildlife or other aspects of nature. Instead, Stowe and his peers collected and researched a series of everyday objects.

"I photographed marbles from my father's collection and then researched the types, their names and rules for different games," he said. "I never realized there were so many ways to play."

Stowe's final project featured a variety of marble designs cut into circular shapes and placed them in a cloth bag alongside an accordion-style booklet that described the history, styles and game rules of marbles.

"The work was thoroughly collected and beautifully crafted," Andrea Wollensak, professor of art and co-director of the College's Ammerman Center of Arts and Technology, said.

Stowe, who hopes to become a graphic designer, is a participant in the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, a certificate program that combines the study of technology and the arts through independent studies, internships, workshops and integrated art and science courses, and is a graphic intern for College Relations.

"I was so excited to join the Center, because it offers a unique, truly interdisciplinary opportunity for study, and takes my liberal arts education one step further," Stowe said.

Currently in his third year of the program, he looks forward to continue working next fall with Wollensak as he completes his self-designed integrative senior project, an intensive research and design project that utilizes the skills the Center's students learned through their participation in the program.

"I plan to explore the visual representation of music through art and the reverse - music created by art," he said.

The musical aspect of the project was inspired by the Electroacoustic Music and Sound Design course Stowe recently took with music professor Arthur Kreiger, a popular professor who specializes in electronic music and composition.

"This course opened my eyes to more ways that art and technology can interact," said Stowe. "So I decided to integrate sound and music with my 2-D and 3-D design work."

- By Claire Gould '10

December 15, 2009