Knowledges at Mount Wilson Observatory was an ambitious exhibit of contemporary art, the Saturday portion of which sold out--okay with me, as I'm past my staying-up-late days. Because the exhibit was scheduled for the entire weekend, Bellis and I drove into the mountains on Sunday to see it.
Bellis and I especially liked this (plexiglass?) sculpture with three chambers: a lower, clear chamber, an upper chamber containing a complicated birds' nest, and a slim, top chamber with an inch or two of water in it. From one angle the sun shone through, from another you could see the solar telescope framed in the bottom chamber, from another angle, the bird's nest literally disappeared. From every direction, something new happened. Unfortunately, the piece wasn't labeled.
After deciding we liked the work very much, Bellis and I went on to walk around the Observatory. It looked like a lot of the works had been removed, but a trip to Mount Wilson is never wasted unless the place is closed, and even then you've had a relaxing mountain drive. A few interesting pieces remained, but I'd have been fine with it even if our plexiglass nest holder had been the only one still there.
Unfortunately, the brochure listed the artists but not their works, making it impossible to identify what works there were, as very little was labeled. But this is the first time they've done anything like this at Mount Wilson and I hope they do it again. I think it was pretty good for a first try.
A young man sat nearby taking pictures. So we asked, and yes, he was the artist. Otherwise I would not be able to tell you that this magical work is called "The Birds Like the Stars," and it was created by Claude Collins-Stracensky. I think he enjoyed our exclamations. It's art, of course, and as Collins-Stracensky hadn't declared his presence he could just as easily have overheard criticism. He said that's part of the fun. What a pleasure it was to meet him, and to be able to tell him honestly how much we liked his work. But he already knew that.
"This is a place of magic," the brochure says. They got that part exactly right.
(LOOKY! Pasadena Adjacent went Saturday night!)