Gallery Openings and Events

The Galleries at Takoma Park Announces STEAM…when science intersects art

Photo courtesy of The Galleries at Takoma Park.

Photo courtesy of The Galleries at Takoma Park.

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Opening: Thursday, May 7 from 7pm to 9pm

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“STEAM” refers to “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics”
The exhibition will feature artwork by Leda Black, Martin Levin, Cleve Overton, and the Bridges Organization.

Leda Black’s series of digital images, “Celestial Bodies,” will be featured in the Atrium Gallery. Several of these works were shown recently at Hillyer Art Space and they were called “striking” by Mark Jenkins in the Washington Post: “Whether they’re glimpses of worlds too vast or too tiny for human apprehension, these ‘Celestial Bodies’ fascinate.“ There will eventually be 26 in the Celestial Bodies series and at least 20 of them will be in the Takoma Park show.

About Leda Black
Originally from New Mexico, Leda Black moved to the Washington DC area from Upstate New York in 2010. She was trained in philosophy as an undergraduate and in the book arts in graduate school (fine printing & printmaking, hand bookbinding, typography, graphic design, fine arts). She has been working with computer graphics and photographic imagery since the 1980’s. She has a public studio (#16, Black Lab) on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.

About the Celestial Bodies series
I have been exploring scale, transformation, taxonomy, and epistemology using scans and photographs of everyday objects, which I manipulate using computer software. The work here is from a series called “Celestial Bodies.” They are digital mash-ups of three categories of things: animal; plant; and human-made. The source images are both direct scans of objects and photographs captured with a camera. The way a scanned object emerges out of blackness (when the scanner is open and the light drops off behind the object) made me see these images as bodies suspended in the blackness of outer space. On the other hand, because of the shallow depth of focus of scanned objects, some people read these as photographs of microscopic things. This play with scale (the image could be larger than our sun or too small to see with the naked eye) is further developed since many sizes of things are combined (the ceiling of the pantheon and a seed calyx). In these works I am calling attention to, and flouting, our system of mental categories, and generally playing with the permeable membrane between the natural and the human-wrought. At the most basic level, all these things—large, small, living, inert—are composed of the same matter, a diversity of elements that come from exploding stars. Each print in the series is named for and/or based on a particular celestial body (a star, an asteroid, a comet) and there is one for each letter of the alphabet.

Leda Black writes about her work in a blog on the website, ledablack.com. Her studio, Black Lab, is regularly open to the public on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market near the Brookland/CUA Metro stop (red line). It is in the big brick building that says “Brookland” on its side, visible from the metro. The address there is 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio 16, Washington DC, 20017. Many studios are open there daily and on the third Thursday of the month there is free music and many of the 27 artists’ spaces are open to the public from 6:00–8:00pm. For more about free public entertainment in the Brookland Arts District, visit the Art on 8th website.

The Galleries at Takoma Park are located at 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park. For more information visit takomaparkmd.gov/arts.

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