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Patterns, paper and perception: Matt Shlian opens new exhibit at Loyola

January 31, 2014

Matt Shlian, a paper engineer rooted in book arts, print media and design, will launch his new exhibit, “Apophenia,” at Loyola University New Orleans with a free, public lecture and opening reception Thursday, Feb. 6 in the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library. The “Apophenia” exhibit draws from Shlian’s series of the same name and refers to the artist’s perception of patterns or connections where none exists.

The lecture is set for 10 a.m. in Multimedia Room 2, and the reception will follow that evening from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Collins C. Diboll Gallery, located on the fourth floor of the library. Shlian will also conduct a student workshop while on campus.

Through the lecture and exhibit, Shlian will explore how fine art and design inform one another, as well as how math and science relate to each other. Shlian allows his work to evolve on its own by beginning with an initial fold—a single action that then causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds—that ultimately manifest in his drawings and three-dimensional forms.

Shlian also uses his engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture, collaborating with scientists at the University of Michigan. While researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principles, he sees their inquiry as a basis for artistic inspiration, according to Shlian.

He has presented and conducted workshops across the country, and commissioners of his work include several prestigious organizations and entities, such as Apple, Ghostly International, IMTEK, The United States Mint, The University of Michigan and Queen Rania of Jordan, among many others.

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