Art Talk Monday: MMMmmm Show

Today’s Art Talk Article is written by Patrick Miller, Assistant Professor of Art and Program Coordinator of Communication Design, and Todd Maggio, Associate Professor of Art. Professors Maggio and Miller present the MMM… Show, an art experience at the Louisiana Tech Rawle Enterprise Center in Ruston, Louisiana, 509 West Alabama Avenue.  The opening reception was Friday night, Dec. 15, but the exhibition will run through January 18. This show is made possible by the Thingery, a multidisciplinary lab at Louisiana Tech University where Art and Science get down to Business.

New trends are creating a 21st century economy that is very different from the previous century. New distribution methods, new Imagemethods for developing and marketing products, interaction between different disciplines, new methods for funding start-ups, and evolving consumer preferences all come together to create a new environment for products, businesses and economies to thrive. There is a particular emerging strategy that is well suited to this new economy called the 'maker space' which is an integration of art, science and business to create new innovations that increase economic growth in regional economies. 

At Louisiana Tech University faculty have begun to define what a maker space means for our region by establishing a new facility called the Thingery based on the idea that at this place you imagine, design and create things with the added element of how to get them out into the market to create new economic activity. The Thingery is a common creative space where anyone on campus can come together to work on projects that utilizes the lab’s unique set of resources. In particular this type of collaboration for art students can open new avenues of expression that were previously inaccessible. Having the opportunity to design the objects that make up the world around us offers artists and engineers alike a vast new dimension of expression.

This exhibit combines traditional elements of graphic design with new manufacturing and prototyping technology from the Thingery as an artistic medium with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and the marketplace. Louisiana Tech faculty Todd Maggio and Patrick Miller draw on years of professional experience in graphic design to re-envision their discipline and explore creative alternatives to the typical client-oriented projects. Design is the product, and the product is art.

As educators Maggio and Miller seek to enlighten their audience on the possibilities offered by the new technologies featured in their show. Never before has so much creative power been available to individual artists andthe MMM… Show sets out to provide concrete examples of the enormous potential it provides. This exhibit also takes the Thingery’s message beyond the Tech’s campus to the community at large as a vessel to leverage the convergence of art and technology as a significant resource to local and regional entrepreneurs.

If you would like more information please contact Hannah Bustamante, Administrative Assistant for the Enterprise Center at or (318) 257-5281

The Thingery

The Thingery at LaTech is a community resource that brings together innovators from business, engineering, design, and the arts with the common goal of entrepreneurial innovation at the desktop scale. These innovators are makers and entrepreneurs and they bring their knowledge and skills together to provide resources to imagine and create new products and new business ventures in the region. The purpose of the Thingery at Louisiana Tech is to give an innovator access to the technical and intellectual resources needed to fully explore their ideas. This exploration may include design work, prototyping, packaging, manufacturing, and distribution for their new idea. The Thingery currently consist of a 20-person classroom, digital design lab, and a suite of desktop manufacturing equipment including four 3D printers–one full color–a laser cutter, an electronics work station, a vinyl cutter, CNC router, CNC mill, vacuum former, and an assortment of hand tools. The resources are also directly linked with the entire array of entrepreneurial support and business development assistant available from Louisiana Tech University and our regional partners.

LA Tech Enterprise Center

The Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center (LaTEC) opened for business in November of 2005 on the north side of the Louisiana Tech University campus. LaTEC houses the Louisiana Tech Technology Incubator (LTTI) and the Technology Business Development Center (TBDC).  As the primary business support and development outreach arm of Louisiana Tech University, LaTEC is designed to facilitate and promote the growth of new and existing ventures of the innovation enterprise in the I-20 corridor of north Louisiana.

The Enterprise Center’s incubation space and services focus on early-stage technology companies with a connection to Louisiana Tech University. In addition, the outreach activities and services of LaTEC, primarily through the TBDC, serve clients based on two factors: (1) geographic location (or prospective location) and (2) business type.  The primary service area includes 20 parishes in the I-20 corridor of north Louisiana. Under certain circumstances, this region expands to include companies or prospective companies in any other Louisiana parish or, for certain limited services, to prospective companies interested in locating in north Louisiana.