March 2017: Historical Pigments

Historical Pigments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Curtis W. Frank and Sara Loesch-Frank
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 6 – 9 PM
Location: Michael’s at Shoreline Park Mountain View, CA

For the past ten years, we have been teaching a regular quarter-long Introductory Sophomore Seminar entitled “Art, Chemistry and Madness: The Science of Art Materials” that uses art materials and objects of cultural heritage as a venue for introducing concepts of chemistry and materials science. More recently, we have developed an intensive three-week long version of the same course material in the Stanford Sophomore College course entitled “An Exploration of Art Materials: The Intersection of Art and Science.” In this short presentation, we will present the organizational philosophy and some of the highlights of the lectures presented by Curt and of the hands-on studio art activities taught by Sara.

Curt W. Frank was trained in chemical engineering (BChemEng, University of Minnesota, 1967; MS, University of Illinois, 1969; PhD, University of Illinois, 1972) and then worked as a Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM 1972-1976, where he was first exposed to polymer science and engineering. In July 1976, when the tall ships were in the San Francisco Bay, Curt and his new wife Sara moved to Stanford, where Curt had been appointed as an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. Curt was promoted to Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1985 and received the W.M. Keck, Sr. Chair in Engineering in 1994. In that same year, he co-founded the Center on Polymer Interfaces and Macromolecular Assemblies (CPIMA), an NSF-sponsored Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, which he directed until it closed in 2010. CPIMA initially included participants from Stanford, IBM Almaden Research Center and UC Davis; it was later expanded to include UC Berkeley. Curt was Chair of Chemical Engineering 2001-2006 and was Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering 2009-2015. His research interests are in soft materials and have recently included studies of thin films and interfaces, interpenetrating network hydrogels, phospholipid assemblies, biodegradable polymers and ion transport in fuel cell membranes. Curt’s group has published around 330 journal articles and has produced 71 PhDs. In addition, he and Sara have taught an Introductory Sophomore Seminar on “Art, Chemistry, and Madness: the Science of Art Materials” since 2007. They have also taught this material as an intensive three-week Sophomore College class “An Exploration of Art Materials: The Intersection of Art and Science” since 2014. Curt is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Sara Loesch-Frank is a calligrapher and art teacher who combines multi-media painting with a broad range of letterforms. She received her Bachelor and Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of New Mexico and has done additional graduate work at the San Francisco Academy of Art. She has participated in 13 International Calligraphy Conferences, and her artwork has been featured in several Bay Area locations, including Filoli Gardens exhibits held in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011; Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz in 2008; Mohr Gallery in Mountain View in 2009; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; and The Triton Museum of Santa Clara. She was chosen as Distinguished Fine Artist of the Year for Cupertino in 1997; juried into the international exhibit Writing Beyond Words in Connecticut and the National Cathedral Exhibition in Washington DC in 1999; included in the textbook Art and Craft of Hand Lettering in 2004; selected as the opening speaker for the Smithsonian exhibit of The Graceful Envelope at the National Steinbeck Center in 2005; juried into the international magazine Letter Arts Review in 2006; and invited to show her artwork in Qufu and Chengde, China in 2006. For 35 years, she has been teaching calligraphy and art in Bay Area adult education programs. She currently team-teaches a Stanford Introductory Seminar “Art, Chemistry, and Madness: The Science of Art Materials” with her chemical engineer husband.


Seminar Historical Pigments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Date Thursday, March 23, 2017
Cost Regular participant: $30
Students: $15
Time 6:00 Social Hour
7:00 Dinner
8:00 Presentation
Location Michael’s at Shoreline Park Mountain View, CA

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