Elona Van Gent



My creative work utilizes three dimensional computer technologies to explore the metaphorical and morphological potential of hypothetical life forms. Borrowing computer techniques typically used in design or to create special effects in film and video, I build improbable creatures as rapid prototyped sculptures, digital prints, and 3D animations. Both alluring and discomforting, the creatures’ bodies are assembled from variant parts to embody the complex combinations of disparate feelings and experiences of which we ourselves are comprised. In motion, their awkward and unpredictable behaviors bear evidence of the struggle, challenge, and the adventure of adapting to a not-always hospitable and constantly changing world.


Elona Van Gent studied literature and music as an undergraduate and served as Executive Director of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI) before receiving an MFA in sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her work was recently included in Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC. Exhibitions of her work have also been shown at Beijing Today Art Museum, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg, Russia, Roda Sten in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Sydney’s University of Technology as well as the Goldstein Museum of Design, University of Minnesota, the Exploratorium in San Francisco and many other university galleries and museums in the US. Since 2000, she has been an organizing member of ACM SIGGRAPH’s annual conference, serving as 3-D Technology Coordinator for the Studio, chair of the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery committee, and Art Communities Director. Elona has lectured and presented her work at museums, universities, and conferences across America and Europe and is currently a Professor in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan and is serving as their Associate Dean for Academic Programs.