The opening of the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences in January 2016 signals completion of Vassar’s Integrated Science Commons. To commemorate this milestone, several events and exhibitions will be held on campus during the spring 2016 semester.
Many of these activities bridge different disciplines and draw from the college’s rich history, and also look ahead to what the future of the sciences and arts at Vassar will hold.
Jan 27 – June 12
Seeing the Sun
Feb 1 – Mar 28
Imaging & Imagining
Feb 17 – Mar 6
Spark! A Feel For Science
Mar 28 – ongoing
Apr 29 – Aug 21
Touch the Sky
May 26 – Dec 11
Seeing the Sun: Maria Mitchell’s Observations, 1868-1888
Imaging & Imagining: An Art in Science Image Competition (entries accepted)
Visualization methods provide an important tool in science for the analysis and presentation of scientific work. Scientific images can also transcend their role as a medium for transmitting information and contain the aesthetic qualities that transform them into objects of beauty and art. In celebration of the opening of the new Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, this is a call for images that bridge the sciences and the arts/humanities. Everyone in the Vassar Community can submit entries, and a panel of faculty, staff, and student judges will choose the best work for display. Additionally, the best student work in each of three categories will win cash prizes and be on display in the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences this spring. Sponsored by the Asprey Center for Collaborative Approaches to Science and the Creative Arts Across Disciplines Initiative (CAAD). Read moreBack to top
Spark! A Feel For Science
Science is often thought of solely as a discipline of the rational mind. Through the scientific method, a question is asked, a hypotheses is proposed, research pursued, and sometimes, answers found. But throughout the process, the scientist, a creative being, takes steps of intuition, fabricates and wields tools in a creative manner, and synthesizes disparate streams of thought into cohesive ends. Through the display of a portion of Vassar’s antique science equipment, juxtaposed with thoughts from modern scientists, this exhibition seeks to replicate small fragments of what it like to be a creative being in a logic driven endeavor. This will include materials that illustrate the ‘creative leap’, devices invented for the sole purpose of answering questions, as well as materials that will be a delight to the senses. Read moreBack to top
In 1862, Matthew Vassar commissioned a cabinet, to be filled with specimens, models and materials to provide a hands-on education. In 2016, Vassar completes a new Integrated Science Commons, complete with displays telling the story of those “sources” we use in our education in science. These eight dynamic displays each tell stories of Vassar’s past and present science, united by verbs that speak to the dynamic process of science and science education. The displays comprise images, textual stories and the very sources of learning science; objects and artifacts that make science come alive. Back to top
Touch the Sky: Art and Astronomy
As part of a campus-wide celebration of the sciences, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center presents Touch the Sky , a multi-media exhibition that examines the age-old tradition of sky gazing. The exhibition features work by 17 artists including two site-specific works created especially for the exhibition.
Astronomy, the oldest of the natural sciences, can be traced back to antiquity with its origins in religious and mythological beliefs and it has been closely linked to artistic endeavors that date back to the Renaissance. Since then, artists’ enthusiastic interest in capturing the grandeur and mystery of the cosmos has not waned. In the modern age, technology and science have allowed us to see, understand, and record what lies beyond Earth more clearly than ever. With a focus on contemporary art that gravitates towards the conceptual, the exhibition features astronomical observations, interpretations, and reimaginings by artists Laura Battle, Matthew Brandt, Vija Celmins, Caleb Charland, Chris McCaw, Linda Connor, Teresita Fernández, Nancy Graves, Sharon Harper, Mishka Henner, David Malin, Lisa Oppenheim, Thomas Ruff, Kiki Smith, Michelle Stuart, Mungo Thomson, and Penelope Umbrico.Back to top
Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project
In spring 2016, the Art Center will host Mark Dion as Vassar artist-in-residence. Dion is a New York and Pennsylvania-based visual artist known for his “cabinets of curiosities” that incorporate found objects into site-specific installations. Dion will co-teach a course with anthropology professor Anne Pike-Tay, culminating in a work comprised of items drawn from the collections of the Art Center, Special Collections, and Vassar College Artifacts Project. This wealth of resources includes materials as diverse as nineteenth-century scientific instruments, Native American objects, Vassariana, examples of taxidermy, sculpture, geological specimens, and antique books. Dion writes, “For me it is always a personal pleasure treasure hunting for projects. Certainly we will uncover things never suspected.” The exhibition is generously supported by the Creative Arts Across Disciplines initiative of Vassar College, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation; and the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Exhibition Fund. Additional support provided by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Exhibition Fund. Back to top