How Artist Shantell Martin is Drawing the Bridge Between Art, Education, and Technology
March 15, 2016
Author: Addison

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured from our Toronto office to check out Coldstream Fine Art’s latest exhibition. Internationally-acclaimed artist Shantell Martin’s “Drawing Toronto” installation was on display, and was the perfect conversation starter to an evening of connecting with new people from all industry backgrounds.

[Photo by Shiela Labao]

Shantell Martin’s signature black and white drawings have been hailed as a language of it’s own, unfolding in real time and inviting her audience to share in her creativity. Shantell describes her work as a meditation of lines, creatures, and messages that she creates during live performances. She attributes the pressure of not being able to fix mistakes to finding confidence in her own style. She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, WWD, and added her own flair to the March 2016 cover of Elle Canada magazine.

Already quite impressed with her artwork, our interest piqued when gallery owner, Kariv Oretsky, informed us that Shantell is involved in the education and technology scene. Immediately our eyes lit up, and we needed to know more!

From early on in her career, Shantell has been encouraged to explore the cross-disciplinary role technology can play in her creations. Currently, she is an artist in residence at MIT’s Media Lab, where she works closely with engineers and mathematicians to build software that shapes the future of cities. Her Social Computing research group explores how to express her artform in a more analytical way, such as visualizing data. Her current project, “Storyboards” crafts narratives around how electronic devices work. The course description describes the circuit board as “a story of star-crossed lovers —Anode and Cathode—with its cast of characters (resistor, capacitor, transistor), Storyboards have their own characters driving a parallel visual narrative.” It’s clear that Shantell’s talent has navigated many worlds, and literally drawn the bridge between fine art, technology, and the future.

[Photo by Laura Barisonzi]

Being able to experience an artist bring creativity into the tech space - where it’s not traditionally associated - is inspiring for the entire Hubnest team. We have always referred to ourselves as much more than a sum of programmers, but a group of enthusiastic creators, and we can’t wait to see how Shantell’s talent further influences the industry we’re so passionate about. 

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