Rhythms of Growth and Learning by Kathy Hedges

SOCORRO, N.M., May 24, 2007 - Denizens of New Mexico Tech's Fidel Center who have spent the past year wondering why bare wires were hanging from the ceiling of the building's stately three-storey atrium now have their answer.

During the week of May 21 to 25, San Francisco artist Shan Shan Sheng used the wires, which were built into the building's frame, to hang her floating sculpture "Rhythms of Growth and Learning."

Sheng, an internationally known artist with works in major cities around the world, created the artwork out of a medium called "cold casting glass" to allow the interplay of light and color in the atrium.

The artwork, called "Rhythms of Growth and Learning," is a symbolic double-helix representative of students' intertwined academic and personal lives.

Eight of the 46 panels feature details representing the branches of science and technology: quotations from scientists and philosophers throughout the centuries, mathematical equations, chemical formulas, and computer language.

According to Lonnie Marquez, vice president of Administration and Finance, the sculpture cost $102,000, paid by the state of New Mexico's One Percent for the Arts Program.