Two local organizations are proving how art and science can work together.
The Okanagan Science Centre (OSC) and Gallery Vertigo have teamed up for a unique art exhibition that will be part of an international science conference being held next month.
And the public is being asked to participate by sharing their view on science through art.
On Saturday, both the OSC and Vertigo will open their doors and supply materials and inspiration for people to create their own works of art in the Science as Art initiative.
“Artists and scientists will be on hand at each location to help participants create scientific works of art that express individual interpretation of the question ‘what does science mean to you,’” said Sandi Dixon, Okanagan Science Centre executive director.
The locally created pieces will then be submitted to a special exhibition being held during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Vancouver next month.
For the first time in decades, the AAAS is hosting its annual meeting in Canada, and one of the event’s outreach projects is the art exhibition being organized by the NRC-Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, in partnership with Science.gc.ca, and the Canadian Association of Science Centres, which counts the OSC as a member.
The event will draw thousands of leading scientists, engineers, educators and policy makers, as well as hundreds of science journalists, to Vancouver.
Participants will be able to select a piece of art they create at either Vertigo or the science centre to submit to the exhibition and the OSC will take care of the shipping.
“This is our chance to show the rest of B.C., Canada and North America how the North Okanagan community embraces and celebrates science and art,” said Dixon.
Distinguished community artists Christine Kashuba and James Postill will be holding respective workshops at the OSC during Saturday’s art-making events.
Kashuba’s workshop will demonstrate how to use light sensitive paper to create solar artwork, while Caetani Cultural Centre artist-in-residence Postill will use a mixture of lime and sand to create a plaster called intonaco. The participants will spread the intonaco onto a tile and, after minimal drying time, will paint a miniature fresco.
“Both of these artistic processes rely heavily on scientific principles, thereby magnifying the science as art message of each participant,” said Dixon, adding there will also be paper, paint and drawing materials on hand for those who prefer a simpler approach.
Gallery Vertigo, in turn, will host the OSC’s resident scientist Kevin Aschenmeier, who will lead a discussion on scientific principles and to help focus the artistic energy into scientific imagery, and answer any burning science queries.
Gallery Vertigo’s studio artists will be on hand to facilitate the workshop and provide creative inspiration on how they connect with science, while Anne Mihalcheon, an active studio artist and Smarties instructor at Vertigo, will also provide an introduction to materials.
Both workshops are open to all members of the community –– children and adults, artists and non-artists, as well as science enthusiasts and newcomers. All artwork will be featured on the Science.gc.ca website, and submission locations will be marked on an online map of Canada.
The workshops take place Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. simultaneously at Gallery Vertigo (3001-31st St. upstairs, downtown Vernon) and the Okanagan Science Centre (located at the east entrance to Polson Park.) Suggested donation at each location is $2 per person. To avoid disappointment, participants should arrive at either location prior to 2 p.m. so they will have time to complete the featured projects.
For more information, call 250-545-3644 or visit www.okscience.ca.