Two new galleries at the MSU Museum are dedicated to student and faculty research at Michigan State University. Exhibitions in The Sandbox gallery will highlight more experimental exhibitions while the New Horizons space will feature research from the National Science Foundation Broader Impacts, art-science residencies, and a rotation of other student and faculty research. These new changes demonstrate the MSU Museum’s commitment to serving as visible catalyst for teaching, learning, and research at the intersection of the arts, sciences, and humanities, as well as a vital collaboratory that advances student and faculty success at MSU.
The inaugural exhibit in The Sandbox gallery spotlights a small sample of the innovative work developed by faculty and students in the acclaimed Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL Lab) at MSU. The GEL Lab seeks to “design innovative prototypes, techniques, and complete games for entertainment and learning and to advance state of the art knowledge about social and individual effects of digital games.” In the “Gameplay” exhibit, MSU Museum visitors are invited to explore and enjoy games created by faculty and students in the GEL Lab, and to contemplate the impact of video games on our society.
“Games have had a huge impact on the evolution of humankind and become important cultural artifacts. It is wonderful that the MSU Museum recognizes this, and it is an honor that they are showcasing our set of games to their patrons,” remarked Brian Winn, Professor and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab.
Adjacent to “Gameplay” is the “Hidden Water” exhibit in the New Horizons gallery. Through research at Michigan State University, the exhibit aims to increase public awareness of the connections water has to our everyday lives. For instance, the exhibit encourages visitors to explore the amount water used to produce clothing, a cup of coffee, and other consumer products. This exhibit was created by Arial Shogren and Jay Zarnetske from the MSU Watershed Sciences & Hydroecology Lab in collaboration with the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative and the MSU Shadows Collection, which partners with Michigan artisans to repurpose campus trees into handmade, heirloom-quality works of art.
“Water is wildly ironic because it is such an intrinsic part of our everyday lives, but we almost never think about it. The “Hidden Water” exhibit is full of surprises for everyone because it provides a fun way to think about and talk about water both during and long after your visit to the Museum,” said Zarnetske, a professor of Hydrological Sciences at MSU in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“Hidden Water” is on view through August 2022 and “Gameplay” is available throughout 2022.