The Stellameter by Benson May

May 9, 2014

By Nancy Kuhl

The Stellameter by Benson May

Project description: Students in Professor Helfand’s art class were given the final project of creating a cyanometer, or a device which measures the color of the sky.  I  decided to incorporate digital media technology and resources from the Yale Art Gallery (two of my favorite topics in the class) into my cyanometer project.   I ended up selecting Joseph Stella’s “Battle of Lights, Coney Island, Marti Gras” as my foundation.  I then used media technology to draw 53 different hues of blue from the sky portion of this colorful piece.  I arranged these blues on a website I had created and asked fellow peers to help me name all 53 of Stella’s blues.  While ending up with not only a website cataloging these colors, I also finished this project with 53 new stories and ideas about color taxonomy in my mind generated from the Yale community.

About Jessica Helfand’s seminar, Blue (ART003b): What is it about the very notion of blueness that provokes the imagination? This seminarwill explore the cultural and iconic history of blue as both a method and a motive for making work in the studio. Experimenting with writing, photography, collage and short-form digital video, students will work with primary sources in the collections at the Yale Art Gallery, the Birren Color Collection, and the Beinecke Library, responding to existing artifacts while producing new ones. Read more in the YDN: Creative Classroom: Seminar immerses freshmen in many things blue

About the Beinecke Library exhibition: “Blue: Color and Concept”