STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These four subjects have been heralded as beacons to guide our next generations into successful futures. At TechFarms, we are prominent supporters of the STEM initiative as our main focus is to nurture a robust tech ecosystem and entrepreneurial community. That said, we are also of the belief that STEM is missing a crucial element. Art!
We aren’t the only ones that feel this way, because STEM has a sequel called STEAM! Just as one example, design is a very significant element in a website, physical product, building, etc. The marriage between design and science, technology, or engineering can change the world for the better.
We are strong supporters of the goal to add creativity and purpose to the STEM fields. It is this belief that has led us to partner with a renowned artist and sculptor.
Anthony Heinz May has been creating works of art for years. His specialty is handcrafting downed trees into fantastical sculptures that reflect the fragility and ferocity of nature and its relationship with humanity.
The Monarch Art Trail
Recently, May was commissioned by The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County to create one such sculpture as part of their Monarch Art Trail project. The Alliance has commissioned eight pieces of art to celebrate Northwest Florida’s natural environment and the migration path of the Monarch butterfly.
The trail will be a path for cyclists and pedestrians and an attraction for tourists. The project is supported by the St. Joe Community Foundation and is part of a larger push for public art in the area.
May needed a reliable site nearby to begin working on the project, as well as the many tools required for such a meticulous job. That’s where we came in. Luckily, we were able to provide May with a secure workspace and all the tools he would need to complete the sculpture.
A Space for Makers
Our mission is to improve the surrounding communities by nurturing a thriving ecosystem of creative, forward-thinking individuals just like Anthony Heinz May. TechFarms is an inclusive environment with resources to turn ideas into reality.
“TechFarms made this process much easier,” said May. “I was contemplating buying a belt saw just to complete this project, luckily the facility had all of the tools I needed and more!”
May was surprised and thrilled to learn that something like TechFarms existed in the area. When he reached out to us, we were excited to be able to offer him some assistance as he created his next masterpiece. During his stay, we learned a lot about his artistic process and what he hopes people glean from his work. We marveled at his craftmanship, and how personal and hands-on the process was.
The Art of Anthony Heinz May
The message sent by creating temporary works of art in the form of fallen trees reflects the brevity of our own lives.
“Many people ask me why I don’t bronze my sculptures,” said May on the topic. “Doing that would conflict with the meaning of the work. These sculptures are intended to be reclaimed by nature.”
In May’s eyes, his work is about the commodification of nature. Turning the world around us into a mere resource for our consumption. Something to be used and thrown away. The goal is to make people think about their connection with the world around them.
These works also function as a snapshot of a point in time. Many of May’s sculptures are crafted from trees that were downed by massive storms. When repurposing the discarded wood, he aims to capture the moment right before the tree’s demise. He says this reflects our environmental impact and its correlation to increased severe weather events.
May is creating art, but the methods he uses are all rooted in the other STEAM fields. His materials are those found on your average construction site. He uses precise tools and measurements to get the exact result he wants. He plans out his vision before executing and is thorough and meticulous. Each section of tree must be cut perfectly and marked accordingly. His pieces represent the error of human negligence, while at the same time demonstrating what we are capable of creating. His work is the embodiment of dichotomy.
The Next Step
When May first began creating these types of sculptures it would take him a tremendous amount of time, now he has it down to a science. For now, he has returned to his home in Oregon. His most recent sculpture is ready to be moved to its final resting place in Watersound in the near future.
We hope we will get the chance to work with Anthony Heinz May again one day, as well as other talented artists, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and people from all walks of life who want to make something larger than themselves. TechFarms will continue to offer a helping hand in any way we can, be it resources, mentorship, or just a unique place to work.