SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The results of an innovative collaboration that paired artists from California's central coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, will be on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz during June.
Inspired by the serendipitous co-location of a local art gallery and the USGS research offices and laboratories in the former Wrigley Building on Santa Cruz’s west side, the exhibition's curator, Lisa Hochstein, brought together 16 USGS scientists and 16 local artists, and then asked the pairs to collaborate on a project. Since January, the artists have been in conversation with the scientists and working in their studios to create new artworks inspired by, or based on, the research of their scientist-partner.
The works that resulted from these partnerships will be exhibited at the R. Blitzer Gallery, 410 Natural Bridges Drive, Santa Cruz, June 1 to July 7, with the new artwork along-side displays by the participating scientists who provided background to the artists' works.
"Bringing artists and scientists together to explore interdisciplinary collaborations, not only introduces the public to some of the significant research being done locally at USGS, but also spotlights the creativity and talents of local artists who are stepping outside of their more-familiar spheres of work," said Santa Cruz-based artist Hochstein.
The participating scientists' diverse research includes the study of migratory bird patterns, the movement of sediment by wind, waves, and currents, deep-water reserves of precious metals, the potential effects of natural and anthropogenic hazards, and mapping climate change as it affects both human communities and natural environments. The scientists' areas of specialization include geology, biology, geography, geochemistry, and oceanography.
Participating artists work in a range of media including painting, printmaking, video, wood, and fiber. Their approaches include scientific illustration, contemporary abstraction, and time-based conceptual work.
The show's opening reception is Friday, June 1st from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Two evening panel discussions will be held from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on the evenings of Thursday June 7th and Thursday June 14th with participating scientists and artists discussing their work and collaborations. More information is online.
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