Andrew Linn: Astrophotography

Linn

 

August 22 - November 1, 2020

I think it’s a shared human experience to look up at the night sky and wonder about the cosmos. These photographs represent efforts to satisfy my innate curiosity. Astrophotography is a dynamic and exacting art form. Taking long, high-magnification exposures of the night sky that is constantly moving is not a straightforward process.  To create a successful image, clear, dark skies with very little to no moon is the first requirement. Specialized equipment is also necessary including a telescope mount that moves optics and camera at the same speed as the rotation of the earth to pinpoint and follow a specific area in the sky and take an image. Also required is a camera that is optimized for collecting long, low light, a laptop running specialized software, and an unrelenting desire to reveal and bring deep space down to Earth.

These photographs are made, not taken. Gathering sufficient data from an object in deep space to make a good photograph frequently requires multiple imaging sessions over different nights, sometimes weeks or months apart. After capturing the raw data, there is still a fair amount of post-processing necessary to tease the faint details and nebulosity out of the inky black sky. Combining the data from separate files and then editing the resulting image to make incredibly faint objects visible requires dedicated patience.

It has been a steep but rewarding learning curve over 6 years as I have figured out how to use the equipment and software.  I’m largely self-taught through YouTube University (with a Ph D in Trial and Error). This collection represents my best efforts along the way. I hope you find these images as interesting and compelling as I do. Enjoy.

 

Wood: Selections from the Permanent Collection

200119

 

August 22 - November 1, 2020

Wood is a sensuous material that has an inherent natural beauty. Many artists like Oscar Littlefield create their sculpture without plan or sketches; rather they allow the structure of the wood grain to guide them into revealing what was hidden in the organic material. Littlefield, like Thiel and Rowan, all reveal an intimate connection between their choosen material and the form and content of their finished pieces. Because wood is a renewable resource, readily available and relatively easy to shape, it has been used by artists and craftspeople throughout the history of the aesthetically built environment as well as for artistic and decorative purposes. Wood was often used for votive and devotional statuary evolving through the history of art into more vernacular and abstract forms like the aviary sculpture seen in this exhibit—from the owl and fledging baby bird to the graceful flamingo and more artfully abstracted bird with spread wings. Wood is appreciated for both its organic beauty and texture; it can also be stained, painted, polished, and varnished like the high sheen seen in Patrick Rowan’s Christmas Tree or mixed with other materials as in Richard Thiel’s wood and steel combination, Fortunate are the Gifted.

 

Michael Cody Drury: Infinite Jux

Drury

 

January 25 – May 3, 2020

Michael Drury is a Sioux City native and graduate of Morningside College. After graduating from Morningside, he moved to New York, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts. He has lived and worked in Queens, New York, since then. The exhibition will include paintings from a number of recent series, but will focus on his series titled Infinite Jux. The title plays on both the well-known, satirical, “post-post-modern” novel by David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, as well as on the idea of “juxtaposition.” The idea behind the series is to paint in a way that brings together two or more visual components—such as foreground and background. The focal point in each painting is not necessarily these individual components, but the edges where they meet. In this way, Michael thinks of the artworks as the equivalent of the work of a DJ, whose skill is defined by how well he/she can overlap different songs.

 

Michael Cody Drury gallery brochure

Moments of Joy

Moments of Joy

 

August 1 - October 11, 2020

Artists around the world are mobilizing individually and, safely, in collectives to help people connect, cope, and find health, information, and happiness during the age of the coronavirus. Artists have an uncanny ability to tune into emotions—their own and those close to them, as well as to tap into the general global zeitgeist. Coping with an international pandemic and public crisis is never easy. We often need to turn inward to get through the day when we are struggling to adapt to social distancing guidelines, deciding to wear or not wear a mask, and may be facing unexpected financial uncertainty. (The Sioux City Art Center requires all visitors to respect other visitors and the staff by wearing masks.) Turning inward is exactly the process artists go through when they make a work of art to share with an audience.

Moments of Joy allows visitors viewing selected artworks from the Art Center’s Permanent Collection to turn inward to find resilience and then to share ideas through conversation that sparks hope for the future. The arts are one of the most powerful ways for creating positive communication and healthy coping during any crisis. Art serves as a bridge connecting us one to another by bringing joy into our worlds, helping us to heal, to share stories that make meaning in our own lives and find meaning in the lives of others. According to the Center for ARTS IN MEDICINE at the University of Florida, there is growing documented evidence that art provides direct health benefits including an enhanced immune response, better coping skills and emotional regulation, as well as reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Viewing and making art works not only to improve the moods of individuals, but also bolsters a sense of community by promoting welcoming and inclusive spaces that encourage social and racial equity, enabling dialogue within and across groups, elevating underrepresented voices, and mobilizing communities by illuminating their needs and priorities—their dreams and desires for a better world.   

Even in the private space of an art gallery, extraordinary things can happen. Finding our personal humanity through the visual arts, collectively we can create a more humanistic and equitable world. The irrepressible David Hockney, whose silkscreen lithograph, Warm Spring, 1993, you will see in the gallery, is urging people to draw during the pandemic, saying during an interview with the Guardian Newspaper from his home in Normandy earlier this spring: “I would suggest they really look hard at something and think about what they are really seeing.” Although in near isolation, Hockney shares his images widely, saying that he gets tremendous responses from his viewers who “tell me these drawings offer respite at this testing time … they are testament to the cycle of life which begins here with the birth of spring … Idiots that we are, we have lost our link with nature even though we are part of it completely. All of this will end one day. What lessons will we learn?”

The lessons that Moments of Joy hopes to impart are simply the lessons of the heart—finding joy in art and taking that joy back out into the world to share with others.

 

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