“Art In Space” at COA’s Blum Gallery

“Planet 7” glass sculpture by Josh Simpson

The Blum Gallery at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor has just opened a special exhibit titled “Art In Space,” on view now through October 25. The Blum Gallery exhibition is part of the fifth annual Acadia Night Sky Festival and is also host for a lecture “The Marriage of Art and Science” at 4 p.m. Friday, September 27.

“Art In Space” features the work of glass artist Josh Simpson and painter Jane Runyeon. Simpson creates his own universe of vibrant glass planets, complete with oceans, continents, volcanoes, and clouds. The cores of these small planets are full of bubbles, threads, and kaleidoscopic patterns evoking unseen landscapes and underwater worlds. In addition to Simpson’s renowned “Planets,” several wall-mounted glass “Orbs” from his Corona series will be shown, which evoke Hubble Space Telescope images. “Seeing an aurora borealis, or watching a thunderstorm develop down the valley, or just looking up at the sky on a perfect summer night inspires me to translate some of the wonder of the universe into my glass.”


“Drake’s Equation N” by Jane Runyeon

Jane Runyeon’s expressionistic Galactic series is fuelled by the meteor showers and the thousands of asteroids that both circle the sun and are heavily concentrated in a very wide belt between the orbits of Mars’ two moons and Jupiter’s 63 moons. These mammoth rocks swirling with extreme temperatures and speed have inspired a provocative theme in her work about the known and unknown mysteries of outer space.

Cady Coleman and Josh Simpson

“The Marriage of Art and Science” lecture will begin with remarks by Runyeon, who will introduce NASA Space Shuttle astronaut Cady Coleman and her artist husband Josh Simpson. The two will discuss how art and science co-exist and inform one other. Coleman, who has logged more than four thousand hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station, will discuss the endless possibilities that the space program brings back to earth.
Cady Coleman and Sandra Bullock promoting “Gravity”

Astronaut Coleman was a technical advisor for Sandra Bullock in her portrayal of an astronaut in the soon to be released space thriller “Gravity.” Bullock conferred with Coleman via an internet protocol phone while Coleman was about two-thirds of her way through a 5-month stay aboard the International Space Station at the time. In advance of Josh Simpson and Cady Coleman’s upcoming Blum Gallery lecture, Cady is spending all this week in Los Angeles with “Gravity” stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney on a press junket.

For more information about “Art In Space” visit coa.edu/blumcurrentcal. The Acadia Night Sky Festival kicks off on September 26 and goes through the 30th. For more information, visit acadianightskyfestival.com. Additionally, Josh Simpson and Cady Coleman will give a talk on Friday morning Sept. 27 at John Bapst Memorial High School.