Science Museum exhibit explores intersection of art, outer space

Thousands of bright paper kites, hundreds of embroidery stitches, ink-on-board drawings, photography, mixed media and historical images that illuminate how space exploration and visual art have influenced each other are now on display in Science Museum Oklahoma’s smART Space as part of “Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space.” The exhibit is open through March 29, 2020, in Science Museum Oklahoma’s smART Space galleries.

Just in time for World Space Week, thousands of bright paper kites, hundreds of embroidery stitches, ink-on-board drawings, photography, mixed media and historical images that illuminate how space exploration and visual art have influenced each other are now on display in Science Museum Oklahoma’s smART Space as part of “Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space.” 

The exhibition is heliocentric, revolving around Jacob Hashimoto’s “The Other Sun,” a Minecraft-inspired installation made from 2,000 bamboo-and-paper kites. A New York-based contemporary artist, Hashimoto creates complex worlds from a range of modular components like the bamboo-and-paper kites on exhibit at SMO.

“This is a unique exhibition incorporating a wide array of artistic media to explore the wonder of — and fascination with — outer space. From Jacob Hashimoto’s paper kite installation depicting the sun to Darci Lenker’s tiny embroideries illustrating galactic imagery, I think every guest will find something to marvel at in ‘Cosmic Culture,’” said smART Space Curator Alyson Atchison.

The exhibition’s opening comesduring the United Nations’ World Space Week (Oct. 4-10), an international celebration of the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.

Guests can circle the gallery and see 1940s and ‘50s prints from science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell — an inspiration to astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan — alongside NASA images taken years later, historic star charts from around the world, planetary landscapes, the life cycle of stars, a mixed-media installation from reclaimed materials, a feed of NASA images of the sun and much more.

Featured contemporary artists include Carrie Dickason, Tulsa; Cassandra Hanks, Los Angeles; Hashimoto, New York; Kysa Johnson, Los Angeles; and Lenker, Norman.

“For centuries, the arts and sciences were essentially fused in innovative approaches to document the path of discovery and human knowledge of our world. Artists, scientists, scholars, natural philosophers and theologians were bound by a unified mission to present such a vast subject within the frame of an image,” Atchison added.

“‘Cosmic Culture’ is a colorful testimony of awe, discovery and understanding of the moon, stars, Earth, sun, and more — art and space exploration have influenced each other more than most realize.”

“Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space” is open in smART Space through March 29, 2020, and is included with general admission.

For more information about the smART Space galleries at Science Museum Oklahoma, visit www.sciencemuseumok.org/smart-space.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.

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