The University of Iowa

Art and science meet at the crossroads on April 11 WorldCanvass

April 2nd, 2014

A unique and exciting endeavor that merges art and science in a reflection on the beauty, intricacy, and fragility of our planet will be the cornerstone of the next WorldCanvass.

The Crossroads Project brings together scientists, artists, musicians, and others to explore climate change and the challenge of sustainability through the complementary languages of science and art. WorldCanvass takes place on April 11 from 5-7 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum. The program is free and open to the public.

The Crossroads Project is the brainchild of physicist and educator Robert Davies and members of the Fry Street Quartet. In telling a multi-layered story, Davies says The Crossroads Project hopes to “…effect a deep-seated and visceral communication of the challenges we face.” Composer Laura Kaminsky, whose work “Rising Tide” will be performed live on WorldCanvass, is an integral part of the project. She'll join Davies, the Fry Street Quartet, and Elizabeth Oakes, head of the UI String Quartet Residency Program, in a discussion of the interplay between art and the natural world.

We bring the discussion home with faculty and staff from the UI and state of Iowa who are involved in climate change and sustainability issues, ranging from the environment to public health and from wind energy to campus and community efforts at greener living. Iowa has its share of environmental worries, but it also has individuals, communities, and businesses that are working together to safeguard our land and our people. We’ll hear about many of those efforts when Barry Butler, Robert Libra, David Osterberg, Chuck Connerly, and Liz Christiansen join the conversation.

Topics and participants are:

The Crossroads Project

Fry Street Quartet; Robert Davies, physicist and educator, Utah State University; Elizabeth Oakes, coordinator of the UI String Quartet Residency Program



Science and the arts

Fry Street Quartet; Laura Kaminsky, composer; Elizabeth Oakes, coordinator of the UI String Quartet Residency Program



Climate, sustainability, and conservation

Barry Butler, UI provost and engineering professor; Robert Libra, state geologist of Iowa



Iowa’s sustainability future

David Osterberg, UI clinical professor of occupational and environmental health; Chuck Connerly, UI professor of urban and regional planning; Liz Christiansen, director of the Office of Sustainability



WorldCanvass is a production of UI International Programs. Program partners are UITV and the Pentacrest Museums.

All WorldCanvass programs can be found on the UI YouTube channel, the Public Radio Exchange, iTunes, and the International Programs website.  For more information on WorldCanvass, contact Joan Kjaer at or visit