Exhibit - Scope of the Natural

Saturday, Feb 27, 2021 at 12:00pm

Firehouse Art Center
667 Fourth Avenue
Longmont, CO 80501

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The Firehouse Art Center presents the culmination of our Winter Residency partnership with NEST Studio for the Arts, featuring the work of artist Amy Hoagland and researcher Jennifer Cole. The exhibit presents a site specific art installation featuring an artificial natural environment, creatively addressing the boundaries between the natural and artificial in its arrangement and construction. Visitors can participate in a research experiment about psychological experiences of art, bridging the connection between art and scientific research.

To create the rock sculptures, rocks and trees are 3D scanned using a process called photogrammetry. Multiple photographs are taken of the natural forms and then placed into a software which stitches the images together to create a 3D file. The 3D file is then applied in digital fabrication methods such as laser cutting to recreate the scanned natural form. Materials such as paper, cardboard, and wood are used within the sculptures. The installation features projected video footage and ambient sound recordings.

Hoagland’s creative use of materials mimics and suggests forms found in nature, while providing further commentary on our understanding of, and relationship to, organic structures. Geometric sculptures welded of metal and glass call to mind the polygonal mesh of gaming environments and computer animation, as well as the fractured forms of natural crystalline structures, while mirrors are used to reflect light around the space in a simulation of water. Each material (cardboard, glass, welded metals) comes from a human treatment of natural resources, recombined and re-presented within the context of a contemporary relationship to digital environments. Her process brings natural forms into the world of human influence and filters them out again, providing an expression of the many layers that separate our sensory input from our intellectual understanding of the world we live in.

As some are unable to visit the space during this time, for better accessibility, a digital version of the installation will be available for viewers to experience - further compounding the depth of Hoagland and Cole’s research presentation.

Students from CU Boulder, Jennifer Cole is a PhD student at the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, and Amy is an MFA student at the Department of Art & Art History.

The Nature, Environment, Science & Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts is part of the larger campus-wide Grand Challenge initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), and is open to all CU students, faculty, staff, campus units and community members. NEST seeks projects that bridge the sciences and the arts, and engage with central questions that explore our common and disparate ways of observing, recording, experimenting and knowing. One of their main focuses is supporting undergraduate and graduate work through its funding channels as they kick-start their careers. For more information visit www.nestcuboulder.org or on social media @nestcuboulder

Hoagland and Cole will join Curator Brandy Coons and NEST administration for an Online Panel Discussing the project and its research findings on March 23 at 6pm via zoom. To register, contact gallery@firehouseart.org.

South Gallery: Indoor Emergencies
Shelby Mcauliffe and Molly Ott
Guest Curated by Amy Hoagland

An Indoor Emergency is the causality of an ironic anxiety when looking at the outside from the inside. The emergency that we are grappling with in this space is a suffering from a perpetual, systematic disconnection from nature. 2020 was a shared indoor emergency: a feeling of helplessness from an isolation not only away from people but also from natural environments.

The collaborative installation features objects created from a shared reflection that inspects the binaries implied by an “othering” relationship with the natural world. With photographs, videos, and found objects addressing making/keeping, synthetic/organic, experiencing/documenting, near/far, physical/virtual, clean/dirty, we feel emergencies in these binaries as they reveal a limited lived experience.

Shelby McAuliffe is an interdisciplinary artist in photography and installation work. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2015 with a BA in Art, emphasis in photography and a BA in French Studies. www.mcauliffephotography.com.

Molly Ott is a South Carolinian who is always considering rituals of Americana and the personal myth. Gridding, collecting and arranging each have a part in her language but absurdity is the most preferred principle of all. www.m-ott.com.

Exhibit Date: Feb 11 - March 7, 2021.

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