Gallery director Sarah Jane, left, and exhibit co-curator Lucia Harrison of Tacoma arrange a display that will be included in the exhibition “Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists,” which opens Friday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Gallery director Sarah Jane, left, and exhibit co-curator Lucia Harrison of Tacoma arrange a display that will be included in the exhibition “Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists,” which opens Friday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

‘Science Stories’ brings together multiple worlds

New exhibition opens Friday at Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

PORT ANGELES — Life-size watercolor trees. Lichens under a microscope. Make-and-take art books. The new “Science Stories” exhibition at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center brings these together, marrying art with the natural world.

The art show, free to the public, begins with an opening reception Friday at the fine arts center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. The opening will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with co-curator Lucia Harrison giving a short introduction at 5:30 p.m. The courtyard outside the center’s Esther Webster Gallery will be set up with fire tables and beverages available for purchase.

“This show is fun,” said center staffer Rachel Storck, “because there are a lot of different ways things are presented. We have books you can open and interact with, along with the things displayed on the wall,” plus a microscope station.

Visitors can also make their own artist books to take home, free.

“Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists” is the center’s springtime show, up through May 29. The hours for the exhibition, which is traveling across Washington state, are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

Visitors will have a chance to explore six “Science Stories” topics, said Storck, the center’s Community Engagement Manager: water, ice, mountains, flora, fauna and human health. Twenty-two artists, finding inspiration in the work of scientists from around the West, created books to tell true tales about life and nature.

The artwork illustrates scientific ideas in ways that will be understandable to any visitor, whether or not they’ve a background in science, Storck noted.

When asked about a part of the show that especially moved her, she spoke of Seattle book artist Suze Woolf’s large watercolors. Suspended from the center’s ceiling, they depict trees from areas affected by forest fires.

“In things like this, the artists are interpreting the science of the natural world in a way that’s really captivating,” she said.

Sarah Jane, the center’s gallery and program director, encouraged visitors to give themselves time to explore the many layers of the show.

“There’s a lot to discover here,” she said.

The curators and participants include scientists from Washington State University, the Evergreen State College, the University of Puget Sound, the University of Washington, the University of Wyoming, Tacoma Public Utilities and the National Park Service.

This diverse group includes Abir Biswas, Lalita Calabria, Steven Neshyba, Christopher Schell, Stacey Weiss, Jeff Antonelis-Lapp and Diana Six; the curators are Jane Carlin from the University of Puget Sound, Lucia Harrison, an artist and emeritus faculty member from the Evergreen State College, and Peter Wimberger, director of the Slater Museum of Natural History and founding member of the Art+Sci initiative at the University of Puget Sound.

“I particularly love the cross-sector focus of this exhibit and the melding of interests,” said Christine Loewe, the center’s executive director.

This show, she added, aligns with the center’s goal to inspire the artist in every person, whatever their age and walk of life.

“Science Stories” comes with three activities scheduled this month and next.

A “Science Art Books” workshop for children ages 7 to 12 is set for three Wednesday afternoons, March 16-30; a hand-bound journal workshop for ages 15 and older will follow on March 24 and a “Civic Minds + Creative Hearts: Local Water Systems” evening is set for April 14.

The Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park, an art-filled 5 acres surrounding the center’s gallery, is also open and free, from dawn till dusk, 365 days a year.

For more details about all things fine arts center, see PAFAC.org, phone 360-457-3532 or email pafac@olypen.com.

________

Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz@peninsuladailynews.com.

An Gates of Tacoma sets up a book-making exhibit that will be part of “Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists,” which opens on Friday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

An Gates of Tacoma sets up a book-making exhibit that will be part of “Science Stories: A Collaboration of Book Artists and Scientists,” which opens on Friday at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

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