Curator Tina Green-Price and the staff at Giustina Gallery at Oregon State University are hoping to enhance the excitement surrounding the Aug. 21 solar eclipse with an art exhibit of celestial creativity.

They decided to center the exhibit on the OSU's status as a Space Grant university, Green-Price said and wanted something to supplement "The OSU 150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience."

The OSU 150 Grant Art Exhibit, which is on view at Giustina Gallery in the LaSells Stewart Center, displays works featuring stars, planets, nebulae, comets, meteors, space exploration, the solar system and anything else that pertains to the universe. More than 15 of the works are related to solar eclipses.

Green-Price thinks viewers will appreciate the creative license the artists have taken with the subject.

"People have the right to be more fun and loose, because you're interpreting something that is not a physical thing you see right in front of you, like a chair that has to have a certain perspective," she said. "It can be whatever you want it to be."

The artwork may give some viewers a childhood sense of nostalgia as it reminds them of the days when they gazed into the heavens with a sense of awe and wonder.

"It brings you in touch with when you were a child, and you thought about space and what happens out there with astronauts and Martians," Green-Price said. "You look at the art in a youthful way."

Fifty-nine regional artists submitted pieces to an open call for the exhibit. This includes 10 or so artists who don't regularly show art at the gallery, Green-Price said.

The exhibit showcases acrylic, watercolor and oil paintings, ceramic, mixed media, woodblock print, glass, pen and ink, etching, metal, fiber arts and photography.

OSU faculty members Tom Carrico and Randall Milstein both have photography included in the exhibit.

Other artists with photography in the exhibit are Marjorie Kinch and Phillip Coleman.

"Karen Miller has some fiber pieces. She does the Japanese stencil-style work, like a five stages of the Moon kind of thing on a fiber panel," Green-Price said.

"There's some with a little writing on them, which makes you stop and think about space," she said.

The artwork ranges from plain photographs to whimsical paintings, like "Solar Eclipse Fried Egg Fly-By" by Linda Edwards.

Artist Alex Krupkin created mixed media masks that are fun and creative, Green-Price said.

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