“As scientists and artists, we are all observers of the world. We are all interpreters and storytellers,” said Dr. Gosnell. “We hope people leave this experience feeling a closer connection to the universe and with an understanding that the story of science belongs to all of us. We can build a more welcoming world from the stories we tell.”
The Gift is an immersive installation that animates contemporary astrophysics research to open up metaphorical space for grief, care, and renewal.
In this experience, participants enter a music-filled reading room, where they encounter an all-ages illustrated book—based on the astrophysics research of Dr. Natalie Gosnell, Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College—that invites responses both tactile and emotional. This book tells the story of two stars that are so close to one another yet so far from us that they appear as a single point of light in the sky. Their fates are intertwined; one star, at the end of its life, transfers its material to the companion, allowing the companion to burn brighter and to appear—for a moment—younger, brighter, bluer. This tender story and playful experience heeds the call of anthropologist Emily Martin, to “wake the sleeping metaphors of science.”
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The Gift is a collaborative project between Janani Balasubramanian, Dr. Natalie Gosnell, and Dr. Andrew Kircher. The book features artwork by Amy Myers and design by Katie Hodge. The original score is by Tina-Hanaé Miller with arrangement by Solomon Hoffman.
High school students and educators from Colorado Springs School District 11 will have the opportunity to explore their creativity at the intersection of arts and science, alongside the artists, in a program known as The Collective, now in its second year. They will spend six weeks in-residence at the Fine Arts Center creating their own works in response to The Gift.
“This program creates an important space of intergenerational learning where our campus and broader communities can be in dialogue to share ideas and shape new knowledge,” said Michael Christiano, Director of Visual Arts and Museum at the Fine Arts Center.
The Gift opens Friday, March 3 and runs through Sunday, June 18. Student artwork will be on view at the museum beginning March 17.