Arts Infusion explores the connection between art and science. The value of art to scientific advancement is evident: art fosters innovation, encourages divergent and convergent thinking, and provides for broad-ranging cultural perspectives. The Arts Infusion Program at MOSH is dedicated to the integration of arts – performing art, visual art and written word – into exhibits and programming. MOSH is honored to have Regions Bank as a sponsor for the Arts Infusion Program. Regions Bank’s generous contribution supports visual arts exhibitions, helping showcase work by local artists in support of the Museum’s mission to inspire the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history.
MOSH integrates art into its programs and exhibits in an effort to connect with visitors on a multitude of senses.
For more information about MOSH’s Local Artist Program, contact our Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inventors Left To Their Own Devices:
Mixed Media Sculptures by Jim Smith
March 3 – June 28
On display are sculptures that appear to be devices of a bygone age. These “prototype devices” reflect the style known as Steampunk, but they do not have the lightheartedness usually associated with the Steampunk movement. They are presented as one-of-a-kind devices made with passion and anguish by well-known historical figures who were driven by some compulsion.
Each prototype contains elements that are significant to the individual who is credited with its creation, and each appears to have a significant reason for existence, with strong references to science fiction. The works are meant to look aged, touched by time. To reinforce believability, the sculptures are labeled as authentic museum objects are.
Jim Smith, a Jacksonville resident since 1977, began his art career in SoHo in the 1970s, near the end of the pop art movement. He currently teaches advanced three-dimensional art classes at the Bolles School. He is a founding member of the Northeast Florida Sculptors Group, has shown his art internationally in both Mexico and Europe, and currently exhibits at Jacksonville’s Southlight Art Gallery. Mr. Smith is a major contributor to the annual Empty Bowls project benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank. In addition, he donates art to various charities including JASMYN and the Patrons of the Heart program.
Details of his work, including these pieces, can be found on his website at www.smithjart.com.
Princess Simpson Rashid
Princess Simpson Rashid is an American painter, printmaker, blogger, art activist, competitive sport-fencer and coach. Her current body of work explores the relationship between color, perception and symbolism.Rashid has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in museums, art centers, galleries and alternative art spaces across the United States including the Pacific Grove Art Center in Pacific Grove, CA, Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz, CA, Tempus-Projects in Tampa, FL and the CoRk Art District in Jacksonville, FL.
See Simpson’s work on display in the JEA Science Theater and in the Pre-K Classrooms at MOSH.
Informed Art Project:
Works of Art by Area High School Students
As part of its Arts Infusion Program, MOSH encourages youth to explore the connections between art and science. MOSH, in partnership with area high schools, has developed the Informed Art Project, in which students produce works of art that tell unique stories, guided by curriculum requirements but open to artist interpretation. In producing their works, students are encouraged to incorporate scientific principles accurately and precisely. Their art pieces are displayed at the Jacksonville Science Festival and selected works are showcased at MOSH.
Sculptures by Michael Cottrell
For many years, my sculptural artwork has been inspired by forms found in nature. I am inspired by the texture of tree bark, the swirls in a seashell, and the graceful curves of a bone structure. My explorations are derived by interpreting forms found in nature and objects that are in some way hidden or obscured. As an abstract artist, I am constantly seeking out interesting “source material” for creating innovative forms – things such as bones, fossils, microorganisms, and crystalline structures – items that are familiar, yet are not a part of our conscious observation of everyday environments. I strive to capture the elegance of the essential qualities of these forms and bring them into view to encourage others to fully engage with the nuances of the world around them.
I have used many types of materials such as welded steel, cast metal, and even fabric to interpret natural objects in an abstract way, but digital processes have opened up fascinating new avenues for this type of work. By scanning actual objects to generate virtual 3-D models, I can manipulate these forms in the virtual space in ways that simply are not possible in the physical world. I can create abstractions not only by re-imagining the aesthetic characteristics of a form, but also by manipulating the actual objects into new fantastical versions of themselves. The results are still familiar, but invigoratingly fresh. They demand investigation as they seem plausible, but are impossible.
Atlanta native Michael Cottrell is Professor of Sculpture at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He received his BA in ceramics from Warren Wilson College and his MFA in sculpture and ceramics from East Carolina University.
Images of Florida’s First Coast:
Photographs by Will Dickey
Will Dickey has been a Jacksonville resident since he became a staff photographer for The Florida Times-Union in 1983. News events, environmental portraits, sports, business, digital illustrations and features are among his daily assignments for the newspaper. His work has also been featured in Water’s Edge, Florida Trend, Newsweek and Time magazines, the ABC Evening News and National Geographic’s website.
Dickey has won regional and national awards for his newspaper work, but he has a special respect for nature and for the beauty of northeast Florida, especially the Timucuan Preserve, the St. Johns River and the Atlantic coastline.
The waterways and woods are his passion, professionally and personally, and photographing them is something of a return to his roots. He grew up in Alabama and wet his first hook as a young child, fishing alongside his father and uncles in the creeks and ponds of his hometown Chatom, north of Mobile. In high school and college (Auburn University) he developed an interest in photography and turned his camera to nature.
Dickey’s images of First Coast landscapes have been displayed in local art galleries and outdoor art festivals for the past several years. You can see more of Dickey’s nature photography at www.willdickey.com and his editorial photography at www.willdickeyphotography.zenfolio.com.
Decoding the Infinite Forest:
Photographs by Doug Eng
How do you photograph a forest? A forest presents itself along a path, creating an immersive and timeless experience, unfolding in a progression. Most photographs depict a contained space at a moment in time. I am interested in extending both of these dimensions.
A “forest” is conceptually unconstrained and without bounds. By creating a long window into the scene with no sky/foreground elements, I intended to imply the infinite and replicate what our normal field of vision would see on a trail. The forest is presented consistently as an objective composition within this frame. My interest is to study multiple locations, subjects, and types to determine if there is a visual signature unique to each condition, appealing to my engineering disposition to rationalize the chaos that is the forest. This code becomes apparent only when viewing multiple tree forms as they become the notes, chords, rests and tempo of a musical score.
Our culture of consumption continues to have a devastating effect on our forests. As a witness to the miraculous place any forest can be, my hope is that this project may, in some way, contribute to the wisdom to conserve, manage and protect these living resources.
Trained as an engineer and software programmer, Jacksonville native Doug Eng is a photographer and installation artist whose work may be seen at www.dougengart.com.
An Installation by Sarah Crooks Flaire
As MOSH’s 2016 Artist in Residence, Sarah Crooks Flaire explores the landscape of natural springs as a metaphor for the heart of our St. Johns River. Rooted in her personal mythology of Red Pearl River, where she redirects her energy daily from consumptive to creative partnership, Bearing Witness explores the tension between domestication and wild that the St. Johns River struggles with daily.
Like liquid light bubbling from underground darkness, water emerges from mystery and flows through our collective subconscious, bringing archetypes and stories. Worldwide, Original Peoples revered water as sacred and celebrated this gift of life by honoring its purity.
Fountains of youth belonged to everyone, and springs were historically sites for Councils of Reconciliation. In this current time of global climate change, we too have the opportunity to honor our water. Through conscious choices, we can move away from anthropocentric living towards reciprocity with the natural world.
Sarah Crooks Flaire is an artist and certified Florida Master Naturalist who earned the 2016 Ninah May Holden Cummer Award for artfully connecting people with the environment. She delights in creating tools and images that combine art and science while nurturing positive relationships with the natural world. Her work has been collected by corporations and healing centers, and her solo exhibitions include installations at Henry P. Leu Botanical Gardens, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, and the Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts. To schedule a workshop, purchase a piece in this exhibition, or to learn more, please visit www.sarahcrooksflaire.com.
Assemblages by Crystal Floyd
My works explore themes of nature, storytelling and adaptive reuse. From my love of natural history, I construct sculptural vignettes as cabinets of curiosities. I employ preserved insects, taxonomical items, natural artifacts, living plants and artificial objects in my work to activate magical narratives — collecting, cataloging and documenting in hopes that my works transcend the appropriated objects and transfer the viewer into a world that they have created.
These pieces are not about glorifying death but rather honoring and celebrating life, paying homage to the repeating patterns and cycles therein. Most of the items used are personally collected during nature outings, meticulously selected from private collections or gifted by other like-minded adventurers and lovers of the natural world in hopes that they will find new life and appreciation. The items in these cases carry personal significance to me, weaving new narratives and finding new perspectives between the static specimens contained within and the active memories that surround them.
For more visit: www.crystalfloyd.com.
Paintings by Mary St. Germain
I have an affinity and respect for nature; it is my sanctuary and escape. As a child I spent much of my time outdoors – snow in the winter, beach in the summer, and nautical adventures with my dad. However, I think that learning the crafts of crocheting, knitting and bobbin lace making first opened my eyes to the world of patterns.
That childhood love draws me to certain subjects — the way palm fronds interface with one another and the stature of grasses, some standing tall and others bent by sweet, southern breezes. Patterns of nature are the defining element in this series of paintings.
My process is a direct response to what is occurring on the canvas. Since I do not do a complete compositional layout for a given painting, problem-solving and openness to changes as I work become the norm. Nothing is sacred; there is always a push/pull dialogue between background, mid-ground, and foreground. For me, the challenge is to start free and end with a working composition. I have always worked with graphite and charcoal to sketch and this has a strong influence on my painting.
It is my belief that art is the catalyst to the healing process of the human spirit. Art lifts our thoughts and emotions to levels that transform our physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Mary St. Germain is a Jacksonville painter. She studied Fine Arts at Louisiana State University and is a member of Oil Painters of America, Landscape Artists International and the National League of American Pen Women. Her work is in private and public collections near and far.
Twilight Tales Under The Treaty Oak:
Silk Paintings by Nena Tahil
The binding theme of my art story is transformation. I am passionate about embracing new perspectives and experiences. Through my art I translate feelings and memories of people, places and points in time while expressing the juxtapositions of life.
Art is Nature, Nature is Art. Art is not just what we see, it is how we see it. Art is about opening up to new possibilities. Art is an adventure. When we blend Nature and Art, we accept the beauty of what was, what is and what it could be. As we contemplate the blessings of Nature, we accept alternative possibilities and potentials and we experience the power of new perspectives. We experience metamorphosis.
Twilight Tales under the Treaty Oak is my interpretation of Nature’s offerings of life lessons – resilience, growth, grace and quiet elegance. Each leaf is just one page in the book of knowledge waiting patiently to be read. This book unfolds a tale of self-reflection where the final chapter is a personal envisioning.
Nena Tahil is a recent Florida resident. After a earning a Master in Public Health degree from Columbia University and a successful career in the health industry, Nena has dedicated the next phase of her life to advocating for mental wellness and closing the gap between the disparity of physical and mental health. She is recent graduate of UNF’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Nena believes that creativity is an essential element to self-discovery and individuation. A portion of the proceeds from sales of her work support mental health awareness in the Jacksonville community. Visit www.silk-paintings-by-nena.com.