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Adaptations to Extremes,
An Art-Science Collaboration

January 19 - February 22, 2019
Opening Reception:  Saturday, January 19, 4 - 6 pm. 
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: Tues - Fri  12 - 5 pm, Sat  12 - 4 pm

Opening January 19th and running through February 22nd, 2019, the Lake George Arts Project’s Courthouse Gallery will present “Adaptations to Extremes,” an Art-Science collaborationCo-curated by Laura Von Rosk and Scientists Dr. Joan Bernhard and Dr. Sam Bowser. Artists include Elizabeth Albert, JoAnn Axford, Terry Conrad, Josh Dorman, Susan Heidman, Eva Henderson, Corwin Levi, Charlene Leary, Deanna Lee, Marilyn McCabe, Joy Muller-McCoola, Mike Millspaugh, Jeanne Noordsy, Shaun O’Boyle, Vicky Palermo, Rebecca Smith, and Katheen Thum.

The opening reception takes place on Saturday, January 19, from 4 - 6 PM. This event is FREE and open to the public. The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets, Lake George, NY. The Courthouse Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm, and all other times by appointment.

A major theme in the biological sciences is to explain how organisms adapt to environmental extremes. Off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, is a bowl-shaped natural formation called the Santa Barbara Basin. Limited movement of water there has created an environment that is severely depleted of oxygen. In such a place it would be surprising to find organisms that need oxygen to live, but scientists have found a type of single-celled organism, called foraminifera, living there in abundance. How have foraminifera adapted to an environment lacking oxygen? For that matter, how do any organisms respond to living in such extreme environments? These questions fuel the research of Dr. Joan Bernhard and her colleagues as it relates to this natural “dead zone” off the coast of California. The exhibition “Adaptations to Extremes” presents work by a group of artists engaged with the scientists involved in this research, as well as samples of their communications over the course of this 2+ year project.

One group of artists explored the theme specifically using the optics of Dr. Joan Bernhard’s research. These artists made new work based on correspondence with scientists Dr. Bernhard and her colleague Dr. Sam Bowser. They were offered access to technical reports, photographs, and the researchers' hypotheses. One artist, Terry Conrad, accompanied and assisted the science crew last spring aboard the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Robert Gordon Sproul research vessel as they sampled the sea floor in the Santa Barbara Basin.

Another set of artists were selected, based on their interests in the biological or marine sciences, with current work germane to the broad theme of “adaptations.” They were questioned by Dr. Bowser using aspects of the scientific method of hypothesis testing. The resulting dialogues in both groups - Artists responding to scientific research, and Scientists responding to artworks - were often surprising, sometimes amusing, and always thoughtful and fascinating.

What informs the work of science and art is a spirit of inquiry and imagination, and both must also embrace the sometimes perplexing results — and then dive in and ponder further.

This exhibition is funded in part by The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Adirondack Studios, The Community Exchange Foundation, the New York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the National Science Foundation.



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