Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What’s out there?

Find out what’s ‘Cosmic’ at The Center

Express Staff Writer

“CARBON” an installation view, Dennos Museum, Traverse City, Mich., by Charles Lindsay, 2009. Courtesy the artist.

Looking up at the night sky has always made humans wonder about their place in the universe. As people become more innovative and technologically advanced, so has their ability to travel into space to satisfy their deep fascination with the cosmos.

"Cosmic," a new multidisciplinary project presented by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, will explore the human relationship to the stars, and how it has shifted as knowledge of the universe has grown.

The project features visual arts exhibitions in Ketchum and Hailey, a lecture by the director of the Hayden Planetarium and classes and workshops for families, adults and teens.

"In the past, the appearance of comets, eclipses and particularly stars triggered awe and anxiety and gave rise to religious beliefs and myths," said Courtney Gilbert, The Center's curator of visual arts. "Today we have enormous telescopes and satellites, and yet there are still so many unanswered questions."

Gilbert selected work by six artists for the Ketchum exhibition, "Cosmic: Artists Consider Astronomy," which opens with a reception on Friday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 p.m. Artist Charles Lindsay, who is using cutting-edge technology to transform The Center's Project Room into an alternate universe, will speak about his work at 6 p.m.

"It's a complete immersion experience that combines photography, video and sound and grows out of the idea that so much of our expanding scientific knowledge is based on images beyond our normal scope of vision—things that are either too immense to be seen or too microscopic," Gilbert said.

Lindsay, who has published seven books of "traditional" photography, received a prestigious 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for his work with a unique cameraless process he calls "CARBON," which uses a carbon emulsion on a transparent base. Visit for a sense of what his work is like.

In addition to Lindsay, the exhibition will feature work by five other artists including Anna Von Mertens, Matthew Cusick, Russell Crotty, Lee Mullican and Gordon Onslow Ford.

A related exhibition in Hailey, "Astronomical: An Installation by Jennifer Wood," will be on view from Nov. 19 through Jan. 14. Using materials as varied as light, Swarovski crystals and pinhole light drawings, "Astronomical" invites viewers into an environment in which they can physically experience a constellation and consider the meanings, myths and legends that we associate with patterns of stars in the sky.

For more information about all Sun Valley Center for the Arts' programs, visit

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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