This artist turns mathematical concepts into intricate paintings

Video produced by Maria Bartholdi.

Emily Lynch goes through life looking for patterns.

During the day, Lynch works for a math publishing company in Minneapolis, training teachers to use materials that are created for visually-oriented students. She also works as an artist, creating paintings based on number systems and her own calculations.

Her paintings are striking visual representations of math, drawing on mathematical concepts to create complex systems of patterns in her work. For one piece, Lynch painted a system of squares that represented the base-3 numeral system. She said she was struck by the beautiful pattern it created. “It looks very calming and peaceful and meditative,” she said.  She went even further, assigning each square a note on the piano to form a musical composition.

Lynch said she sees herself as more of a “problem-solver” than an artist. “It’s mainly about the math, and then the art is how I do that math,” she said.

Local Beat is an ongoing series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.