On display at Orange Coast College’s Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion now until Apr. 6, “Stargazers: Intersections of Contemporary Art & Astronomy” is a multi-media exhibition of eight nationally recognized artists who explore observations of the night sky. The exhibit will reflect on questions of space, time, and the human condition within and beyond the observable universe, and is presented concurrently with the opening of Orange Coast College’s new Planetarium in Spring 2019.
“Stargazers” is curated by The Doyle’s Director Tyler Stallings, and includes art work from Lita Albuquerque, Russell Crotty & Laura Gruenther, Lia Halloran, George Legrady, Carol Saindon, Victor Raphael & Clayton Spada, Penelope Umbrico, and United Catalysts.
Orange Coast College’s Planetarium dome theater is Orange County’s personal starship and window to the universe, and will feature special space-themed shows for the public on evenings and weekends beginning in Fall 2019. The Planetarium also houses a 45-foot Foucault Pendulum and a NOAA Science on a Sphere globe.
“The ‘Stargazers’ exhibition is part of The Doyle’s plans for intersections with other campus divisions, and to present exhibitions that explore the intersections of art, science, engineering, and technology,” says Stallings.
The exhibit includes several large-scale installations and many of the artists have collaborated with research organizations and archives. Working with UC Santa Cruz Institute for Arts & Sciences, the Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project, and San Jose ICA, Russell Crotty and Laura Gruenther’s immersive installation, “Look Back in Time,” refers to light reaching our telescopes that has traveled from the depths of space and hence shows us images from the past.
In keeping with George Legrady’s career-long interest in data visualization, his “Stardust” series of lenticular prints transforms the coordinates of deep space bodies studied by NASA scientists into glowing maps of the cosmos, highlighting the viewer’s own location at the center of the field of observation. Lia Halloran’s “Your Body is a Space That Sees” is series of large-scale cyanotype prints, inspired from working with the glass plate collection at the Harvard College Observatory (HCO), in which she represents a female-centric astronomical catalog of craters, comets, galaxies and nebula.
Several artists examine our place within an infinite universe. The center piece of Carol Saindon’s sprawling installation, “Outside of Inside” is a floor composition of a binary star system, composed of shattered glass, that explores the figurative and geophysical relationship to the cosmos. Lita Albuquerque has been investigating our place in the universe through installations, environmental works, paintings, and sculpture throughout her critically acclaimed career. In many works, she maps both the earthly and celestial terrain, a practice she has since brought to sites worldwide. Penelope Umbrico began her photo-based project, “Suns from Sunsets from Flickr,” which sources images from the internet, when she was struck by how the sun was, as she says, “subsumed to the internet – this warm singular object made multiple in the electronic space of the Web.”
Two collaborative teams explore the intersection of science and spirituality. The focal point of the collaborative team, United Catalyst’s project is the building of a space satellite, “Skywheel,” which will house prayers for the earth sent by people around the world that will circle the planet in a polar orbit, passing over every location on Earth in a regular cycle. “From Zero to Infinity” is the result of a twelve-year collaboration between Victor Raphael and Clayton Spada that combines art and science in a series of large-scale, pigmented inkjet prints with source imagery from millennia of human culture that, as they describe, “explore man’s place in the Universe.”
Admission is free at The Doyle. Spring 2019 hours for “Stargazers: Intersections of Contemporary Art & Astronomy” are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., plus First Thursdays, until 7 p.m., and First Saturdays, noon until 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Fridays and school holidays. The Doyle is located next to OCC’s Parking Lot D9, off Merrimac Way, building 180, between Starbucks and the Art Center classrooms. For additional information, call (714) 432-5738, or visit The Doyle website http://orangecoastcollege.edu/DoyleArts. A map of Orange Coast College is available at www.orangecoastcollege.edu.