Julia Bradshaw hopes viewers will take notice of the diversity of approaches artists took in "Totality," a new cosmos-themed, solar eclipse-related art exhibit opening at Oregon State University's Fairbanks Gallery.
That diversity, she said, reflects the diversity of perspectives viewers will bring to the exhibit.
"I recognize that not everybody is going to have the same experience with the eclipse and not everybody has the same experience with how they think about the cosmos," says Bradshaw, who is curating her first art exhibit for OSU.
The exhibit is part of "OSU 150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience." The show opens Monday, Aug. 14, and will run in conjunction with lectures and other activities planned at OSU the weekend leading up to the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse.
The exhibit displays a range of media, including printmaking, drawing, painting and sculpture. Bradshaw, an assistant professor of photography and new media at OSU, said the show has a strong photography and video bent because she is a photographer.
She contacted more than a dozen local, regional, national and internationally known artists who have featured the cosmos in their artwork for years.
Eric William Carroll of Minnesota, who has done several photography/science-related projects over the years, is one artist she wanted to involve. The show includes Carroll's "Standard Stars," an installation of 15 images taken from astronomical glass plate negatives at the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive, Bradshaw said.
The images document the history of photographing the sky from the late 1800s until the end of the 20th century on glass plate negatives, which is a now-obsolete medium, she said.
In some of the negatives the emulsion started to slip, so there are areas in the image where you can see the stars the astronomer has photographed with a black slash where the emulsion slipped and the image disappeared, Bradshaw said.
New York artist Penelope Umbrico added a video piece titled "Sun/Screen."
In 2006, Umbrico became interested in the photo sharing website Flickr, and searched for the most tagged image. Sunsets had been tagged half a million times in the first year, Bradshaw said.
The installation is titled with the number of images in a slideshow of 4-by-6 inch images of sunsets, Bradshaw said.
Eugene-based artist Julia Oldham shows space exploration with an animated video called, "Laika's Lullaby." The title refers to a dog named Laika the Russians sent into space in 1957 to be the first animal to orbit the Earth.
"They were monitoring the effects of space on the creature, knowing it was going to be a one-way ticket. The heat sensor broke, so instead the dog ended up overheating and dying in a tragic death," Bradshaw said.
Tom Carrico, an astrophotographer who has run photo filter workshops with Bradshaw to prepare others for the eclipse, will display two photos in the exhibit. One is of a birthing star and the other a dying star, she said.
"I was interested in having his work in there, because photographed nebulae never look real to me," Bradshaw said. "In the context of this exhibition, they're going to be the two only real things there and yet they are going to look the most otherworldly."
LeeAnn Garrison, OSU School of Arts and Communications director, displays an painting called "How to Mend a Broken Hearth" that shows her connection to the moon.
Two artists went with fantasy perspectives in the exhibit. Rick Kleinowski, a Corvallis artist, poet and "Star Trek" fan, shares what he calls his homeless journals that are full of poetry and drawings of aliens and more. He was homeless for about a decade, Bradshaw said.
"Other than Tom, he's spent more time outside than anyone else looking at the stars," she said.
The other artist, Miwa Matreyek, did an artist residency at Mount Wilson Observatory in California, which inspired her video "Lumerence."
The video is about where people would go if they could step outside their front door, hop into a spaceship and take a little trip, Bradshaw said.
OSU graduate Ben Buswell, who is now represented by the Upfor Gallery in Portland, displays a large format print.
"He has a piece called 'Four Suns' that I think is going to look very sculptural on one end of the gallery," she said.
Julie Anand worked in collaboration with Damon Sauer to photograph concrete calibration markers that were initially installed in the 1950s as part of the government’s Corona project to enable orbiting satellites to calibrate their devices.
It's what the two do with the photographs afterward that Bradshaw thinks will interest viewers.
Anand and Sauer looked at the time stamp of each photo and then mapped GPS coordinates and altitudes all of the satellites that orbited the Earth while they took pictures.
"When you look at the images and realize at any one time if you stand in a field for ten minutes, twenty satellites might have gone over your head and done whatever they do," Bradshaw said.
Joan Truckenbrod, who recently exhibited her video sculpture installations at The Arts Center, will show a new video installation at this exhibit.
"She had a piece of film she took from a residency in Playa of the moon rising," Bradshaw said. "She's combined this moon image with tidal images."
The installation will include a wall hanging display and video projection.
John Whitten, a drawing instructor at OSU, will present a cluster of seven to nine drawings. Bradshaw said his drawing titled "Sunburst" is quite impactful.
New York artist Vija Celmins had thousands of photo-realistic paintings and drawings of stars, and Bradshaw wanted some in the exhibit. A few prints will be on loan from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.
"If you have ever seen her (Celmins') prints or drawings in real life they are astonishing, and to have her work as part of this exhibition is just amazing," Bradshaw said.