“Cell Split,” by Rogan Brown, is part of the fourth annual Art Meets Science exhibit at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. An opening reception is set for July 9. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MDI BIO LAB

‘Art Meets Science’ reception set for July

BAR HARBOR — The opening of the Art Meets Science exhibit “Is it Art or is It Science?” at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove is set for Thursday, July 9, from 5-7 p.m. The event, sponsored by The First and First Advisors, offers an opportunity to view art inspired by science, meet the artists, visit research laboratories and enjoy refreshments.

This fourth annual Art Meets Science exhibit includes work from 40 artists from Maine, the U.S. and abroad. The work of two featured sculptors, James Wolfe of Northport and Jens Zorn is displayed both indoors and around the laboratory’s coastal campus. Wolfe “draws” in steel using strips, bars and rounds with intense chromatic colors that are powder coated and baked onto the steel. Zorn’s three-dimensional aluminum forms are derived from two-dimensional blackboard sketches and written symbols used by scientists.

As part of the Art Meets Science program, collaborations between artists and MDI Biological Laboratory scientists will be on display. Artist Kimberly Callas of Brooks says that her artwork with Jim Coffman focuses on ‘‘how the past moves into the present.” This theme occurs throughout Coffman’s research, which explores human development and why health declines with age. Artist Beth Pfeiffer of Southwest Harbor collaborated with Ben King, who develops network analysis to understand the interaction of environmental chemicals, genes and diseases. Pfeiffer’s work pays “homage to the experimental, iterative and constructive process that underlies scientific research.”

Other artists include Rogan Brown of Nimes, France, whose work “Cell Split” has been created from large laser-cut pieces dissected from sheet after sheet of paper in careful scientific fashion, sometimes taking months to complete. The work of Cheryl Coffin of Surry is inspired by the landscape and seascape, aerial topographic views and microscopic cellular images.

“Great science and great art make us see the world in new ways,” said Kevin Strange, president of the laboratory. “Like artists, scientists rely on creativity, innovation and inspiration. Bringing the disciplines together allows us to appreciate the similarities and provides both with fresh perspectives.”

The Art Meets Science exhibit is curated by Annette Carvajal, a partner in the MDI-based group AiPS: Art in Public Spaces. “The MDI Biological Laboratory is playing a key role in promoting conversation about the intersection of the two disciplines among the public, artists and scientists,” she said. “That supports AiPS’ mission of engaging the public with art in new ways. We’re also excited that so many of the artists say that their involvement with the laboratory has enhanced their creative process and may have changed the way they approach their work and materials.”

In addition to the July 9 reception, the exhibit is available for viewing during the new Art Meets Science Café series at the MDI Biological Laboratory, offered in partnership with Littlefield Gallery. The cafés feature guest artists discussing the influence of science on their work. Art Meets Science Cafés are open to the public free of charge, and refreshments are available. To register for a tour or the opening reception, visit mdibl.org/events/art-meets-science.

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