Earth • Science • Art

Earth • Science • Art

Opening Reception: Friday, June 1st, 5 – 9pm
Closing Reception: Friday, July 6th, 5 – 9pm

Innovative Collaboration Connects Artists with Local Scientists
earth • science • art / sixteen collaborative explorations is a project that pairs 16 artists from California’s Central Coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area with 16 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC), located in Santa Cruz, California.

Participating artists will be doing new work based on the research of their scientist-partner. In June, 2012, the works that result from these partnerships will be exhibited at the R. Blitzer Gallery, 410 Natural Bridges Drive, Santa Cruz. The show will feature the artists’ new creations, alongside displays by the participating scientists that provide background to the artists’ works. The goals of this project include: bringing artists and scientists together to explore interdisciplinary collaborations; introducing the public to some of the significant research being done locally at USGS; and spotlighting the creativity and talents of local artists who are stepping outside of their more-familiar spheres of work.

The project is being curated by Santa Cruz-based artist Lisa Hochstein with the participation of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. The show is made possible by the very generous support of Robert Blitzer and the R. Blitzer Gallery. The gallery and the USGS are both located in the former Wrigley Building on Santa Cruz’s West Side.

“This project is an opportunity to showcase the talents of our area’s artists, as well as the exciting scientific work being done in Santa Cruz by the USGS. Through these collaborations we hope to invite people to reflect on the vastness of geological time, the impact of humans on the planet, and the creative ways that, as scientists and artists, we study and represent the world around us.”
-Lisa Hochstein, artist/curator


After an introductory meeting in January 2012, scientists and artists were matched and then asked to schedule subsequent sessions for project collaboration. Over the next few months, artists will be in conversation with the scientists and working in their studios to create new artworks inspired by the scientific research.

The scientists’ research is diverse and includes the study of migratory bird patterns, the movement of sediment through wind, waves, and currents, deep-water reserves ofprecious metals, the potential effects of natural and anthropogenic hazards, and mapping climate change as it impacts both human communities and natural environments. The scientists’ areas of specialization include geology, biology, geography, geochemistry, and oceanography.

Participating artists work in a range of media including painting, printmaking, video, wood, and fiber. Their approaches include scientific illustration, contemporary abstraction, and time-based conceptual work.

The exhibition is free and open to the public, Wednesday – Sunday from 11am to 5pm, June 2–30, 2012. The public is invited to the First Friday opening reception on Friday, June 1 from 5 to 9pm. The R. Blitzer Gallery is located at 410 Natural Bridges Drive. During the month of June, two evening panel discussions with project participants will be hosted by the R. Blitzer Gallery.

Interested parties may schedule interviews with participating artists and scientists, and preview the collaborative work processes by contacting Lisa Hochstein at (831) 426-7338. For more information about the exhibition, go to

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