Shining a Light on Connections Between Worlds of Art and Science

By Dorothy Freeman, Clark Bellar

(March 9, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky is hosting "Looking for Light: Chemistry, Art, Story, and Song," the third annual event of the Math, Arts, and Sciences Coalition (M.A.S.C.). This free public event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the museum in the Singletary Center for the Arts, with a reception to follow.

The event explores the idea of interconnectedness between the arts and sciences and features a collaborative mixed media performance by vocalist and UK doctoral student Shareese Arnold, Lexington-based artist Marjorie Guyon, and Susan Odom, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at UK.

Odom will elaborate on her innovative research on energy collection and storage, and how light interacts with matter to create what we perceive as different colors. She will also explain some of the science that unifies art and music. Guyon and Arnold will work together to combine visual images and operatic arias to create a palpable landscape space with emotional resonance.



Arnold is currently in her second year of doctoral work at UK Opera Theatre on full scholarship. She performed the title singing roles of Suor Angelica in "Madama Butterfly," Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni," Bess in "Porgy and Bess" and The Sorceress in "Dido and Aeneas."  



Guyon has exhibited throughout the United States, with works displayed in public and private collections including International Paper, FedEx, Brown Foreman, Pfizer, Morris Museum of Art, UK HealthCare and The Keeneland Foundation. Her background in poetry and her experience in art-making has merged into what she calls "the Bigger Room," an idea of "place-making with a benevolent goal."



Odom's work at UK Department of Chemistry focuses on utilizing synthetic organic chemistry to create materials for energy collection and storage. This research involves the synthesis of organic compounds for incorporation in electrochemical energy storage systems, either as additives for life extension and improved safety or as the energy storage materials themselves. Applications of this research include lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and redox flow batteries for storage of solar and wind power.

"Looking for Light" has been made possible by the following sponsors: UK Department of Chemistry, UK Department of Mathematics, UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, UK College of Arts and Sciences, the Art Museum at UK, the Cerel Family Foundation, Marilyn Robie and Arthur Shechet, David and Vicki Atwood, and other private donors.

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 

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