Culture Corner: A Guide to Cultural Organizations of Tacoma


Goings on this week in Tacoma:

2018 Art+Sci Salon sessions begin at Kittredge Gallery

The Art+Sci Salon is a collaboration that brings local artists and scientists, interdisciplinary thinkers and faculty members from University of Puget Sound and University of Washington-Tacoma together through conversations and collaborations.

The 2018 series of the Art+Sci Salon takes place at UPS’s Kittredge Gallery on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. and will start the year off with the theme “Interface.” The event will feature interdisciplinary artists working at the interfaces of the digital and physical; object and phenomena; natural and man-made; and art and science. Come converse, collaborate and bring a friend.

Also, save the date for Feb. 22, 5 p.m., when we will have a special Art+Sci Workshop featuring artists Dr. Joel Ong and Mick Larusso.

Jan. 25 Art+Sci Salon participants:

  • Afroditi Psarra (U of WA DXARTS professor),

Afroditi Psarra, PhD (Athens, 1982), is a multidisciplinary artist working with e-textiles, do it yourself electronics and sound. Her artistic interest focuses on concepts such as the body as an interface, contemporary handicrafts and folk tradition, pop iconography, retrofuturistic aesthetics and the role of women in contemporary culture. Her artworks include a wide variety of media and techniques that extend from embroidery, soft circuits, hacking and creative coding, to interactive installations and sound performances.

She holds a PhD in image, technology and design from the Complutense University of Madrid. Her academic research cyberpunk and new media art focuses on the merge of science fiction ideas and concepts with performative and digital practices, and offers a philosophical, sociological and aesthetic analysis of the influence of new technologies in the contemporary artistic process.

  • Rebecca Cummins (U of WA, photomedia, professor and chair),

PhD, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2003

MA, University of New Mexico, 1982

BFA, University of Northern Iowa, 1979

Cummins explores the sculptural, experiential, and sometimes humorous possibilities of light and natural phenomena, often referencing the history of science and optics in installations that have included a machine for making rainbows, a photographic rifle, paranoid dinner-table devices, and a variety of sculptural and photographic approaches to marking time.

Her exhibitions include Hyper Design, 6th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China; Timeless — time, landscape and new media, Quay Art Gallery, Images Festival, Toronto; YOUNIVERSE, The Biennial of Seville, Seville, Spain; Interlude: 366, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; The South Australia Biennale of Australian Art, Adelaide; Performance Space, Sydney; I Space, Chicago; and ILLUSION: Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Her commissions include the Skylight Aperture Sundial, 2006 (Seattle Public Library, Montlake Branch, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs) and Lunar Drift: Sun and Moon Pointers, 2014 (Washington State Art Commission and Western Washington University, with Paul DeMarinis, Stanford University). Additional works are installed at the Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art and Perception, San Francisco. Ongoing commissions include the South Delridge (CSO) Artwork Project (Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Seattle Public Utilities) and the University of Oregon Lewis Integrative Science Building in partnership with the Oregon Arts Commission.

Cummins began teaching at the University of Washington in 2001, following 16 years at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia. Her dissertation, “Necro-Techno: Examples from an Archeology of Media,” explored the history of media and contemporary artists who use archaic media devices in their artistic practice.

  • Jeremy Mangan, (independent artist),

Mangan’s current work explores phenomena: the unusual, exceptional moments just on the edge of plausibility, and occasionally beyond.

He is particularly interested in landscapes where there is some evidence of human intervention, but nature still dominates. He often senses a mysterious and compelling power in these places, a haunting beauty. He seeks to put form to that power, in hopes of getting a longer look at it, understanding it a little better, and sharing it with the viewer. He draws from ideas of the sublime, but his engagement is quieter, his glimpses and apprehensions more subdued.

“What I’m after in my work eludes a direct approach,” says Mangan. “As it is with our vision in the dark, we can see objects better by looking slightly to the side of them. It’s a wonderful challenge, pursuing the peripheral. If it goes just right I might capture something essential to its  nature, and as a result articulate a truth that is resonant and significant.”

  • Mike Johnson (professor, sculpture, University of Puget Sound),

Michael Johnson was born in Providence, RI and received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and his MFA from the University of Cincinnati. During the 1995/96 academic year, he lectured and worked at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia as a Fulbright scholar. Johnson is currently distinguished professor of sculpture at the University of Puget Sound. He also taught at Baylor University in Texas and the University of Delaware, where he received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award. As an exhibiting artist, Johnson has participated in one-person and invitational exhibitions in the United States, Slovakia and Japan. Some venues include: Seattle Art Museum, The Aronof Center in Cincinnati, Masur Museum in Louisiana, Martin Museum in Texas, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Delaware Art Museum, Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, Gallery Gerulata in Slovakia, The Izu-Kogen Art Museum in Japan, and the Opus Project Space in New York as one half of the +7-49 Collective. Johnson also served the sculpture community as an executive member of the board of directors for the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, NJ for five years.

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