Jessica K. Sklar and Bronna Butler

Professor of Mathematics / Mathematical Artist
Pacific Lutheran University / B. A. Baroque Arts, LLC
Seattle, WA, USA / New Jersey, USA

Artist Bronna Butler and mathematician Jessica K. Sklar began collaborating in Spring 2020 after serendipitously connecting at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. They create pieces that celebrate mathematics as a humanistic endeavor and honor its elegance, working from the premises that mathematics is for everyone and that whimsy and mathematics are not mutually exclusive.

Additive Mixing
Additive Mixing
58 x 113 cm
Pastel drawing and graphic print on aluminum panel

This piece uses a Venn diagram to explore connections between math, art, and abstraction; the imagery associated with each region corresponds to the region’s characterization as a set. For instance, the intersection of all three circles contains an adaptation of Coxeter’s 30-45-90 tiling of the hyperbolic plane, which the artists posit as mathematical, abstract, and artistic.

The artists’ choices are subjective, and viewers may disagree with some or all of them. The artists would be thrilled by this, since the purpose of the piece is to encourage discussion, rather than to assert facts.

The title refers to our method of combining colors, and hints at the mingling of math, art, and abstraction throughout the piece.