Create artwork inspired by mathematics

Learners from Creative Clubs, a project run by the University of the Free State's Social Responsibility Enterprises, create artwork using mathematics as part of a national Math-Art Competition for high school learners.

To encourage learners to recognise mathematics in the world around them and bring it to life, the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, has launched a national Math-Art Competition, where entrants must submit artworks inspired by mathematics.

The University of the Free State (UFS) and Curro Schools are some of the many partners in the Math-Art Competition. Bloemfontein learners can drop their entries at the Social Responsibility Enterprises’ offices at the UFS’s South Campus.

The unique competition is open to learners from Grade 8 to 12, who can choose between two categories – mathematics in manmade designs, or nature – and they can use any visual medium, including photography, drawing, painting, collage or mixed media.

“In the ‘manmade’ category, we are looking for mathematics in designs created by humans. Here, learners can interpret the theme of art and maths in everyday objects such as buildings, bridges, vehicles, logos, cultural symbols, decorations, and many more,” said GMMDC competition coordinator, Carine Steyn.

“In the ‘nature’ category, artworks must explore the relationship between nature and maths, for example, mathematical patterns in flowers, animals or mountains.”
Each participant will also have to provide a written explanation outlining the link between their artworks and maths, by describing which mathematical concept they have used, how their artwork links to the selected category, and which sources they used to design their work.

Each submitted artwork must be two-dimensional and A4 to A2 in size, with relief work no more than 2 cm high.

Competition prizes, including tablets, cell phones and art classes, will be awarded to the top-placed candidates.

The competition has opened in March and closes on May 3, with the top entries to be displayed at public art galleries.
Winners will be announced on May 17, with a prize-giving taking place in Port Elizabeth on May 25.

For more information, contact: or watch the promotional video on YouTube: (keywords: Math-Art Competition 2019).