The inside scoop on the best science art exhibitions around the country:
EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION
June – November 2014
Between Concourse C and the AeroTrain C-Gates station
Washington Dulles International Airport
Life: Magnified is an exhibit of scientific images showing cells and other scenes of life magnified by as much as 50,000 times. High-resolution versions of all 46 images in the collection are also featured in an online exhibit with longer captions than in the airport exhibit.
ONCE THERE WERE BILLIONS: Vanished Birds of North America
June 24, 2014 – October 2015
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Evans Gallery, Ground Floor
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
An amazing diversity of birds—some in breathtaking abundance—once inhabited the vast forests and plains of North America. But starting around 1600, species began to disappear, as humans altered habitats, over-hunted, and introduced predators. A notable extinction occurred 100 years ago, with the death of Martha the passenger pigeon, the last member of a species that once filled America’s skies. Specimens and illustrations of passenger pigeons (including Martha), heath hens, the great auk, and the Carolina parakeet reveal the fragile connections between species and their environment.
Also of note, The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens present “The Lost Bird Project,” an exhibit by artist Todd McGrain, March 27 through March 15, 2015. This project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven to extinction. It will feature large-scale bronze sculptures of the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen and the Passenger Pigeon.
DOMESTICATED: Photographs by Amy Stein
May 20 – October 20, 2014
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.
The photographs in this series are constructed based on newspaper accounts and oral histories of interactions between humans and animals in and around Matamoras, a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania that borders a state forest. Each photograph was inspired by Amy Stein’s conversations with local residents.
The photographs serve as modern dioramas in which to consider a new natural history. Within these constructed scenes, the artist explores the paradoxical relationship between the “wild” and how conflicting impulses continue to evolve and alter the behavior of both humans and animals.
WHERE IS THE ART IN BIO ART?
September 27 – OCTOBER 18, 2014
School of Visual Arts Flatiron Gallery
133/141 West 21st Street
New York, NY
School of Visual Arts presents “Where is the Art in Bio Art?”—an exhibition of biologically-infused art that makes use of a variety of materials and media including bacteria, time-lapse video, microscopic imagery and more. Created by BFA Fine Arts students, alumni and faculty, these works were generated in the state-of-the-art SVA Bio Art Lab, the first facility of its kind in the United States. The exhibition is curated by Suzanne Anker, chair of BFA Fine Arts and an internationally recognized Bio Art pioneer.
ART OF SCIENCE: Princeton University Photo Exhibit
March 6 – September 14, 2014
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St
View photographs from Princeton University’s annual competition, Art of Science. Images were selected by influential photographer and retired Princeton professor, Emmet Gowin, with Joel Smith, curator of photography at the Princeton University Art Museum. The images offer glimpses into often invisible worlds, illuminating fascinating phenomena and processes. The featured works were submitted as part of a competition that began in 2005, organized to judge the most aesthetically pleasing images produced during the course of scientific research at the University.
PATIENCE, PAPER, PEN & BRUSH: Botanical Illustration by Dick Rauh
September 27, 2014 – January 27, 2015
The Brooklyn Botanical Garden
150 Eastern Parkway
990 Washington Avenue
Renowned botanical illustrator Dick Rauh, a fellow of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, has drawn a number of trees in the living collection, including specimens from the Garden’s important bonsai collection, the focus of this exhibition. Informed by a deep understanding of botany and plant morphology, Rauh’s work brings to light the architectural beauty of plants. Displayed alongside the artist’s botanical drawings and paintings will be his chapbooks, which contain additional plant illustrations as well as poems.
Weird, Wild, and Wonderful
April 19 – September 21, 2014
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
In homage to the beauty of the botanical world’s most bizarre flora, the Garden invited members of the American Society of Botanical Artists to participate in a study of the eccentric, creating works of art based on visually unusual plants chosen by the artists themselves. View the results of their efforts—46 captivating paintings and illustrations of exotic specimens—on display in the Ross Gallery.
FOCUS ON NATURE XIII
April 19, 2014 – January 4, 2015
New York State Museum
222 Madison Avenue
Focus on Nature XIII features 91 natural and cultural history illustrations, representing the work of 71 illustrators from 15 different countries. The subjects represented are diverse, ranging from those only found in the artists’ home country to those that have a worldwide distribution; A special feature of FON XIII is a 3D illustration by Swiss artist Livia Maria Enderli of Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis). This reconstruction of a skull from an archaeological site in Uzbekistan in central Asia found in 1938 uses the latest technology available to artists and scientists.
NATURAL HISTORIES: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library
October 19, 2013 – October 12, 2014
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY
Featuring scientific illustrations spanning five centuries, the new exhibition Natural Histories: 400 Years of Scientific Illustration from the Museum’s Library explores the integral role illustration has played in scientific discovery through 50 striking, large-format reproductions from seminal holdings in the Museum Library’s Rare Book collection. Artists include Albrecht Dürer, Joseph Wolf, Moses Harris, John Woodhouse Audubon, and Maria Sibylla Merian.
WATER STORIES: Conversations in Paint and Sound
July 11 – December 2014
Museum of Science
1 Science Park
Water — our most precious resource. Easy to take for granted, but without it, there can be no life. Industrial practices, human behaviors, and climate change have caused us to face unquestionable challenges regarding the future of our water supply. Through paint and sound, artist Anne Neely, in collaboration with sound artist Halsey Burgund, focuses our attention on alarming stories unfolding today. Neely invites inquiry into water’s unifying role in our world and the many ways humans affect it.
5000 MOVING PARTS
November 21, 2013 – November 30, 2014
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Melding art, science, history and technology, 5000 Moving Parts features sculptures by Anne Lilly, John Douglas Powers, Takis, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Arthur Ganson in collaboration with sound artist Christina Campanella.
The exhibition looks at the wide range of kinetic art being made now: from work that’s concerned entirely with motion and unpredictability, to sculptures that engage with contemporary political topics, to work that brings ancient myth into contemporary life.
SECRETS OF THE SEA
September 18 – November 22, 2014
Atrium Art Gallery
University of Southern Maine
51 Westminster Street
The Atrium Art Gallery at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn Campus presents Secrets of the Sea, a multi-media exhibition of work inspired by marine plants and animals. The exhibit opens September 18 and continues through November 22, and includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and work in glass, metal, stone, wood, fiber, and video by 23 artists. Works in the exhibit were inspired by marine plants such as kelp and bladderwrack, invertebrate species including sea urchins, barnacles, mollusks, sea slugs, octopus, horseshoe crabs, and vertebrates such as fish and whales.
GO AHEAD AND DO IT: Portraits of Women in Science
September 13- October 14, 2014
916 Springdale Road
Building 2 #102
Guest-curated by science journalist Maia Weinstock, Go Ahead and Do It presents diverse portraits of over 30 prominent women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The artists in this collection of works have contributed boldly to the dual goals of celebrating women in STEM and portraying them positively through the lens of visual media. Many of the works were featured in Weinstock’s photo essay for ScientificAmerican.com, “15 Works of Art Depicting Women In Science”.
Andrea del Rio (Detroit, MI), bijijoo (Portland, OR), David Martinez (Austin, TX), Ele Willoughby (Toronto, ON), Gillian Smith (Maynard, MA), Hayley Gillespie (Austin, TX), Jennifer Mondfrans (San Francisco, CA), Maia Weinstock (Cambridge, MA), Orlando Leibovitz (Santa Fe, NM), Raúl Colón (New City, NY), Ruth Compton (Cambridge, MA)
YEAR OF THE SALAMANDER
September 14 – October 19, 2014
Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
Art.Science.Gallery’s Year of the Salamander exhibition is traveling to Barton Springs, home of the endangered Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum). Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) has designated 2014 the “Year of the Salamander” to bring awareness to conservation issues surrounding these amazing amphibians. As an official partner of PARC, Art.Science.Gallery. curated a group exhibition of salamander-inspired artworks in Spring 2014. A subset of those works will be on display at the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center at Barton Springs as the gallery partners with Austin Parks & Recreation Department to present an encore presentation of this exhibit. Visitors can also explore the new Salamander Springs exhibit!
VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY: Michele Banks, Jessica Beels and Ellyn Weiss
September 11 – October 25, 2014
McLean Project for the Arts
1234 Ingleside Ave.
The artwork in Voyage of Discovery has its roots in the idea of a journey of scientific exploration, in the tradition of Darwin, Wallace, and the thousands of scientists who constantly travel the globe in search of new findings. This imaginary voyage takes viewers to a polar region where the iconic, seemingly eternal, landscape of ice and snow is in profound and rapid transition due to climate change. The pieces in this show, created in a wide variety of media, reflect the artists’ responses to the transformation of land and sea – the melting of glaciers and the thawing of permafrost, the movement of previously unknown species and microbes into the region, the dramatic shift of the color of the land from white to green to black. The artists are deeply aware of the damage done by climate change, yet intrigued by the possibilities of what lies below the ice and snow.
BIRDS, BUGS & BLOOMS: Natural History Illustration from the 1500s – 1800s
September 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015
McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1327 Circle Park Drive
Drawing on the collections of the McClung Museum, the University of Tennessee Library’s Special Collections, as well as private collections, this exhibit explores the fascinating intersection of art and science in the tradition of natural history illustration. From 16th century imaginings of fantastical beasts, to the extremely accurate 19th illustrations of plants and animals, the works on view highlight how increasing access to travel, technology, and books, as well as the evolution of the field of science, changed how these artful illustrations were created and interpreted.
BLACK & LIGHT: Abrasion Holography by James Minden
through September 7, 2014
Museum of Arts and Sciences
4182 Forsyth Road
Black & Light features groundbreaking abrasion holograms by artist James Minden that employ the same physics as white-light or “rainbow” holograms. As a viewer moves around each piece of art, the item changes its appearance. Minden refers to his work as light drawings because the surface is literally drawn or incised by hand. Using a compass, the artist scratches narrow radius-shaped grooves in a sheet of plastic that has been coated with a diluted matte medium. When light is reflected from the surface and grooves, the image appears to be three-dimensional. The exhibition that gives each viewer a unique experience because no two people see the same thing at the same time.
Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps
August 30 – November 2, 2014
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC
This major art exhibition includes forty-four original artworks based on the native plant discoveries made by John and William Bartram in their renowned and influential travels throughout the eastern wilderness between the 1730s and 1790s.
FOURTH COAST ILLUMINATED
July 1 – September 10, 2014
Kalamazoo Nature Center
7000 North Westnedge Avenue
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI) artists of the Great Lakes region (states that border the Great Lakes) invite you to visit their exhibit, Fourth Coast Illuminated, featuring subjects native to the Great Lakes region. Sixty-nine works from 30 GNSI members in a wide variety of media will be on display in the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Glen Vista Gallery. Plan extra time to stroll the Center’s beautiful, well-groomed trails, and let the kids explore the educational exhibits in the air-conditioned Interpretive Center. The KNC offers special programs every month.
FOLDING PAPER: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami
May 16 – September 21, 2014
Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
This unique exhibition explores the history and evolution of paper folding. Over 140 works by 45 master folders from around the world—from countries as diverse as Japan, the United States, Uruguay, and Russia—showcase the power of origami and its modern-day application in the field of engineering, design, fashion, and the global peace movement. Works range from lifelike and representational to mathematical and computer-generated, lyrical and abstract to social and political. Considered a children’s craft for many centuries, Folding Paper pays tribute to the many artists and activists who have elevated origami to a recognized art form as sophisticated and meaningful as any other.
THE NEW LANDSCAPE: Experiments in Light by Gyorgy Kepes
July 24 – November 17, 2014
Cantor Arts Center
328 Lomita Dr.
This exhibition explores the question of art’s relevance in a scientific age through the work of Hungarian-born Kepes1American artist, designer, and visual theorist Gyorgy Kepes (1906–2001). Forty-five panels depict what Kepes, associated with Germany’s Bauhaus and Chicago’s New Bauhaus, called the “new landscape” of scientific imagery—microscopic minerals, cellular patterns, and tissue fibers—as well as Kepes’s own experiments with camera-less photographic techniques. The exhibition is one of the first projects resulting from a $500,000 grant awarded to the Cantor and the Department of Art & Art History from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to facilitate research conducted by Stanford Ph.D. candidates on the Cantor’s collection.
2014 Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Annual Members Exhibit
April 30 – September 25, 2014
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
15th and Broadway
The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is proud to present the 2014 Guild of Natural Science Illustrators 2014 Annual Members Exhibit. This juried exhibition represents the finest in contemporary scientific illustration by members of the GNSI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the practice of scientific illustration.
BUZZ SAW SHARKS OF LONG AGO
through December 31, 2014
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 North Pearl Street
Imagine a fearsome shark with a circular saw where the usual jagged teeth might be. Now imagine that shark as 24 feet long and weighing about 1,000 pounds. If you had lived, say, 270 million years ago, you might have seen such a creature. These prehistoric whorl tooth, or “buzz saw,” sharks went extinct eons ago. But this summer at the North Pacific Aquarium you’ll get an in-depth look at these fantastic creatures–as part of a special exhibit by the Idaho Museum of Natural History featuring the art of Alaska artist Ray Troll and the sculpture of Gary Staab.
TENTACLES: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid, and Cuttlefishes
April 12, 2014 – September 2016
Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Journey to a world of undersea magicians, masters of disguise and quick-change artists. Our special exhibition is the largest, most diverse living exhibit ever created to showcase these amazing animals. You won’t believe your eyes.
GYRE: The Plastic Ocean
February 7, 2013 – September 6, 2014
625 C Street
With stunning visual impact and an astonishing array of ocean trash, internationally recognized artists create works of art for this exhibition from debris collected from beaches around the world. Plastic packaging in a throwaway culture finds its way into our ocean biosphere and then into the hands of artists. Our oceans and beaches are awash in plastic pollution propelled by gyre (rotating ocean currents). The exhibition explores the relationship between humans and the ocean in a contemporary culture of consumption.
REASSEMBLING THE SELF
September 16 -October 11, 2014
GV Art Gallery
49 Chiltern Street,
Reassembling the Self is an exhibition centered on a study of the condition of schizophrenia, which weaves together art, science, psychiatry and individual histories in an extraordinary exploration of self, perception and the fragility of human identity. As artist in residence from 2010 to 2012 at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Susan Aldworth took schizophrenia as her theme, building on collaborations with neuroscientists, psychiatrists and patients to produce a series of remarkable lithographs that challenge the sense of identity through their dislocated imagery. These are dramatic, powerful works which locate an essential human experience in schizophrenia. Together with her film – based on a seminal text about schizophrenia, Daniel Paul Schreber’s Memoirs of My Nervous Illness – Aldworth’s work also stands in a suggestive dialogue with other works in the exhibition. There are paintings and drawings by Camille Ormston and Kevin Mitchinson, two skilled artists with a schizophrenia diagnosis.
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