Science flair: New gallery combines art with biology

Dissection: Tanya Chaly’s installation of frogs, titled “Cascade-Index.”

Scientifically speaking, it’s beautiful!

A new gallery that merges art with science will open at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on Jan. 4 with “Spontaneous Emergence of Order,” an exhibit of work from four artists who have created ordered patterns from the natural world. Combining an artist’s eye with a scientific approach creates pieces that can help people understand the world around them, according to one of the show’s curators.

“I think it’s an important link, and I think scientists and artists seek to understand the world we are living in. When you merge the two you can have really substantial breakthroughs,” said Elena Soterakis, who lives in Bay Ridge and co-curated the show with Jeannine Bardo. “We believe in the union of both mediums and bringing them together.”

The inaugural exhibit inside the BioBat Art Space at the Sunset Park terminal will feature work from a quartet of artists, including Tanya Chaly’s drawings of frogs linked by thread and dissection pins; Tarah Rhoda’s “Ourglass,” which features an IV bag under ultraviolet light; Magdalena Dukiewicz’s “Flesh and Blood,” an installation of solidified blood and collagen; and Richelle Gribble’s “Community Web,” a social engagement project built of rope, string, yarn, cords, and plastic.

The curators, whose own art focuses on environmental issues, say they selected the artists for the exhibition based on their esthetic and their ability to tell a science story.

The exhibit will appeal to anyone with a curious mind, said Bardo, but the gallery will also hold special events to reach out to local residents and pupils in nearby schools, including talks by the artists, educational programs, and hands-on science activities and projects.

“It’s very community-oriented, open to everybody. It’s very accessible to the public, that’s the point of both science and art, they are accessible and connected,” she said. “There’s a lot to learn from both of those disciplines.”

The meshing of art and science may also spark answers to future problems, said Soterakis.

“That intersection is going to answer a lot of problems of tomorrow and solve a lot of problems,” she said. “I believe science really is the answer to the problems of the future. The intersection of art and science is very important.”

“Spontaneous Emergence of Order” at BioBat ArtSpace at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (140 58th St. between First and Second avenues in Sunset Park). Opening reception Jan. 4 at 7 pm. Open through March 3, Mon–Sat; noon–6 pm and by appointment. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Lost and found: Richelle Gribble’s “Community Web” is made of found objects, rope, and string.

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