Indiana State hosts artificial intelligence art exhibit

Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 00:51

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University is currently hosting an immersive art exhibit with artificial intelligence-generated work collaboratively created by digital art students. 

A unique, multimedia exhibition titled “Subject to Change” will be at the Turman Gallery at Indiana State in the Fine Arts building from Nov. 14 – Dec. 9. The students that participated in the exhibit ranged from beginner to advanced digital artists and have several pieces that have been derived from other media. 

Sam Morlan, digital art instructor and exhibit curator, explained the approach that the beginner classes took.

“Some of them have never taken an art class before,” Morlan said. “It’s super simplistic animation in that they’re just separating pieces of the painting and then moving them. So this was kinda step one in the animation of clicking and dragging and moving around characters.”

Students of all levels worked together to bring this exhibit to life and showcase their efforts. The types of artwork in the exhibit span from animation to photography, and of course, A.I. generated works. Students were encouraged to explore the technology of artificial intelligence and all it has to offer them and their artwork.

“I introduced them to DALL-E 2 which is an open A. I., open source, text-to-image artificial intelligence generator. And basically how we did this is each student created a prompt and from there, it generated four images based off of that written prompt. And through those four images we decided as a class which one fit best,” explained digital art instructor and exhibit curator Kevin Naylor. 


Having access to the A. I. program gave students the opportunity to experiment with new techniques and to collaborate with other artists. Along with animation loops and photo sets projected on the walls of the gallery, a 60 ft. long structure supports the collective and complete outcome of the efforts of 17 intermediate and advanced digital art students. The students created their own prompts and fed them through the A. I. generation software to create works in the style of Renassaince painter, Jan van Eyck. 

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“Certain styles really work with the A.I. because there’s so many resources they put into the algorithm. And it’s really nice to use a specific style for cohesiveness. I really gravitated towards more of the painterly artists, with Jan Van Eyck or the early Renaissance paintings, they have a very specific style that’s very easily replicated with the AI,” added Naylor. 

As the initial concept of the generated images came into focus, the class expanded upon that first image and continued to add more, eventually leading to the large structure on display in the gallery.

“From there, we ‘outpainted’ it, which is a term coined by open A. I. which is basically where you start from the center and then each prompt generates another image as you go out from it so you can create really large scale artworks like murals,” Naylor described. “The way outpainting works, we really didn’t do Jan Van Eyck all the way through, because at a certain point, whenever you’re outpainting, it will actually take another section into reference and kind of work it as well into new generated images.”

“Subject to Change” invites viewers to reflect on the ever-changing world of technology and how it can have a significant impact on people’s daily lives while also being in a constant state of progress and adaptation. The exhibit provides students and folks around the community with the option of engaging more directly with the artwork on display.

“I wanted the students to take their own subject matter and see what they could do with it. I really pushed them to take control of this technology and see how they could use it in terms of reference or how they could use some of these images and create their own artwork,” Naylor added. “I really wanted to show the students as well as the community this new technology and how it can be used in terms of art but also as artists, how this is going to impact us.”

Tanmaya Bingham, gallery director, and instructor provided insight into the significance of a more open gallery experience and what it could offer to audiences.

“All in all, having a space where students can come or people from the community can come and hang out, it’s nice to have that opportunity, too. Creating art that is actually bridging the gap between what art has traditionally been, where a lot of people see a barrier between them and it, and we want to bring down that barrier.”

The reception for the exhibit is Thursday, Nov. 17 from 4-6 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about ISU’s galleries and upcoming exhibits, visit their website


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