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Artists Ponder the Cosmos in New Hyde Park Art Center Exhibit

By Sam Cholke | April 29, 2015 5:56am

Sarah and Joseph Belknap have created a field of stones inspired by images from the Mars rover. [Photos courtesy of the artists]

HYDE PARK — Astronomers are teaming up with artists to explore the cosmos in a new exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Cosmosis” opens Sunday at the art center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., and brings together 14 artists producing work inspired by physics and cosmology.

The exhibit kicks off at 2 p.m. with an opening reception with music from Douglas Ewart, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, followed by John Corbett playing a selection of Sun Ra's cosmic jazz from the Experimental Sound Studio archives.

All the work is either inspired or informed by mankind’s relationship with the cosmos.

Artists Sarah and Joseph Belknap said they’ve found the images taken by the rovers on Mars inspiring and frustrating.

In an interview for the exhibit, the pair said they were driven to create fields of polyurethane rocks to satisfy and explore the feeling that comes from finally being able to see something so far away up close for the first time, but still ultimately being so far from touching it.

“When we look out and try to describe these things that are so far away we’re not trying to exactly replicate a rock as a rock, but to kind of play with the hands and the touch as we perform on it inherited the knowledge of what that object feels like as we create it,” Joseph Belknap said.

Sarah Belknap said it’s inspiring and terrifying to be so intimately a part of the practice of stargazing, which was one of the earliest modes for humans to question their place in the universe.

“We want people to look up, we want people to look up with us and it isn’t just for scientists, it’s for the amateur, it’s for somebody interested in art, it’s for everybody,” Sarah Belknap said.

Professional star watchers from the Adler Planetarium will come down at 8:30 p.m. June 23 with telescopes to look at stars and explain some of the science that inspired the 14 artists.

The artists include the Belknaps, Daniel Baird, Erica Bohm, Jeremy Bolen, Dana Carter, Joseph G. Cruz, Carrie Gundersdorf, Jason Lazarus, New Catalogue, Trevor Paglen, Jefferson Pinder, Nicholas Sagan and Erin Washington.

Curator Steve Bridges will lead a guided tour of the exhibition at 6 p.m. June 16.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 23.

Carrie Gundersdorf's paintings take their inspiration from the rings of Saturn.

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